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Chapter  I.     The  Spanish  Explorers.     Ponce  de  Leon. 
Hernando  de  Soto. 

The  Spanish  explorers  not  successful  within  the  limits  of  the  PAOE 
present  United  States  — Ponce  de  Leon  discovers  Florida — 
Pineda  is  said  to  have  discovered  the  Mississippi  —  Vasquez 
de  Ayllon  in  Florida — Pamphilo  de  Narvaez  —  Cabeza  and 
the  Mississippi  —  De  Soto's  equipment — Spirit  of  his  fol- 
lowers—  Landing  of  De  Soto — His  treatment  of  the  natives 
—  The  massacre  of  Vitachuco's  warriors — Search  for  gold — 
The  female  cacique — Tuscaluza — Disaster  at  Mauvila  —  In 
the  country  of  the  Chickasaws — Discovery  of  the  Mississippi 
— Death  of  De  Soto — Luis  de  Moscoso 3 

Chapter  II.     The  French  Explorers.     Marquette  and 
Joliet.     Hennepin.     La  Salle. 

Spirit  of  the  French  explorers — The  St.  Lawrence — Acadia 
— Quebec — The  missionaries — Montreal — La  Salle— Discov- 
ery of  the  Ohio — Marquette — Joliet — The  Mississippi — Re- 
turn of  the  explorers — Death  of  Marquette — La  Salle's  plans 
—  Frontenac — Tonty — Hennepin — The  Griffin — Fort  Creve- 
coeur — Hennepin's  expedition — Description  of  the  Missis- 
sippi—Du  Lhut — "Louis,"  Indian  name  for  "sun,"  accord- 
ing to  Hennepin — First  mention  of  the  name  "  Louisiane  " — 
Gilmary  Shea's  opinion  of  Hennepin  —  La  Salle  at  Fort 
Frontenac — The  Iroquois  and  the  Illinois — La  Salle  enters 
the  Mississippi — The  mouth  of  the  Mississippi — Official  ac- 
count of  taking  possession — Father  Membre's  description  of 
the  Mississippi — Fort  St.  Louis  of  the  Illinois — La  Salle 
authorized  to  form  a  settlement — Fort  St.  Louis  of  Texas — 
Murder  of  La  Salle — Destruction  of  La  Salle's  settlement     .       11 

Chapter   III.     The   Settlement   of  Louisiana.     Iber- 
ville, Sauvole,  and  Bienville. 

The  condition  of  France  from  1687  to  the  treaty  of  Ryswick 
— Maurepas  chooses  Iberville  for  the  Louisiana  expedition — 



The  sons  of  Charles  Le  Moyne — Names  of  Le  Moyne's  chil- 
dren— Joutel's  "Relation" — Father  Anastase  Douay — Iber- 
ville arrives  at  Ship  Island  in  February,  1699 — Reception  of 
Iberville  by  the  Indians — The  first  fort  at  Biloxi — Iberville 
finds  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi — Exploration  of  the  river 
— Origin  of  name  Baton  Rouge — Pointe  Coupee — Tonty's 
letter — Iberville  starts  to  return  to  his  ships — Iberville  River, 
Lakes  Maurepas  and  Pontchartrain,  Bay  St.  Louis — Success 
of  Iberville's  expedition — Sauvole  the  first  commandant  or 
governor  of  Louisiana — Visit  of  Bayagoula  chiefs  and  their 
squaws — The  "  English  Turn  " — Return  of  Iberville — Fort 
on  the  Mississippi — Fort  Rosalie — Le  Sueur's  "blue  and 
green  earth" — Bienville's  journey  to  the  northwest — Death 
of  Sauvole — Bienville  in  command — Iberville's  last  voyage  to 
Louisiana — War  of  the  Spanish  Succession — The  seat  of  the 
colony  removed  from  Biloxi — Fort  Louis  de  la  Mobile — Com- 
missary de  La  Salle — Curate  de  la  Vente — Death  of  Iberville       30 

Chapter    IV.      The    Struggle    for    Existence.      The 
Founding  of  New  Orleans. 

Hardships  of  the  colonists — Dealings  with  the  Indians — 
Death  of  Tonty— Census  of  1704— Census  of  1706— De 
Muys — Diron  d'Artaguette — D'Artaguette  and  Bienville  ad- 
vocate an  establishment  on  the  Mississippi — Penicaut's  life 
with  the  Indians — Slow  progress  of  Louisiana — Grant  to 
Crozat — Governor  Lamothe  Cadillac — Letters  patent  to  Cro- 
zat — Administration  of  Lamothe  Cadillac — Customs  of  the 
Natchez  Indians — Bienville's  punishment  of  the  Natchez 
chiefs — Governor  de  l'Epinay — Intendant  Hubert — Early 
settlements — Fort  Conde  of  Mobile — Dubreuil — Young 
D'Artaguette — The  Western  Company — John  Law — Ab- 
stract of  the  charter  of  the  Western  Company — Foundation 
of  New  Orleans  in  February,  1718 — New  Biloxi — The  Su- 
perior Council  in  1719 — War  with  Spain — Capture  of  Pen- 
sacola — Expeditions  of  Dutisne  and  of  La  Harpe — The 
German  Coast — Pauger's  report  about  the  mouth  of  the 
Mississippi — New  Orleans  becomes  the  capital — La  Tour's 
report — The  hurricane  of  1723 — Commandants  of  posts — 
Names  of  districts — Father  Charlevoix's  letter — Description 
of  Louisiana  by  Le  Page  du  Pratz — Le  Page's  arrival  in  the 
colony — His  concessions  near  New  Orleans — The  calumet 
dance — Departure  for  the  Natchez  country — Settlement  near 
Fort  Rosalie — Limits  of  Louisiana  according  to  Le  Page — 



Climate — The  river  St.  Louis — Le  Page  goes  to  New  Biloxi 
— Explorations  in  the  interior— Tribute  to  St.  Denis — Boats 
of  the  natives — List  of  the  Indian  tribes — Le  Page  meets 
Father  Charlevoix — His  departure  in  173-1 50 

Chapter  V.  Abstracts  of  the  most  important  Royal 
Orders,  Regulations,  and  Edicts  concerning  Loui- 
siana, from  1719  to  1729. 

Forbids  governors,  etc.,  to  possess  plantations — Forbids  vaga- 
bonds and  criminals  to  be  sent  to  Louisiana — About  foreign 
commerce — About  carrying  swords — About  firing  cannon  in 
harbors  of  colonies — About  redemptioners — About  sailors 
deserting — About  games  of  chance — Edict  concerning  negro 
slaves,  known  as  the  "  Black  Code  " — About  killing  of  cattle 
— About  opening  letters — About  landing  slaves — About  the 
punishment  of  deserters  —  About  military  crimes  and  offenses 

—  About  exclusion  of  foreign  commerce — Regulations  for 
hospitals         83 

Chapter  VI.     Colonization. 

New  Orleans  in  its  beginning — War  with  the  Natchez  —  Bien- 
ville's recall  to  France — His  services — Early  censuses — 
Notice  of  Dubreuil — Governor  Perier — The  Ursulines — New 
Orleans  as  seen  by  Sister  Madeleine  Hachard — The  first  resi- 
dence of  the  Ursulines — The  convent — The  ecclesiastical 
jurisdictions — The  Capuchins  and  the  Jesuits — The  cur- 
rency—Progress of  the  colony — The  early  population  of 
Louisiana — Massacre  by  the  Natchez — The  Yazoos  join  the 
Natchez — The  Choctaws  remain  faithful  to  the  French — 
Loubois  attacks  the  Natchez — The  Natchez  routed  by  St. 
Denis — The  Tunicas — Plot  of  the  negroes — Governor  Perier 
attacks  the  Natchez — The  last  stand  of  the  Natchez — Ruin 
of   the   Natchez 98 

Chapter  VII.  Bienville's  Wars  with  the  Chickasaws. 
Vaudreuil,  the  Grand  Marquis.  The  Seven 
Years'  War. 

Character  of  Governor  Perier — List  of  officers  from  1725  to 
1730 — Surrender  of  the  charter  of  the  Company  of  the  Indies 

—  Return   of   Bienville — War   with   the   Chickasaws — Bien- 



villc's  retreat — Death  of  young  D'Artaguette — Names  of  the 
principal  officers — Bienville's  narrative — Second  expedition 
against  the  Chickasaws — Failure  of  the  expedition — Celoron 
attacks  the  Indians  —  Bienville  asks  to  be  relieved — Founda- 
tion of  the  hospital — Hurricanes  in  1740  —  Request  for  the 
establishment  of  a  college  of  the  Jesuits  —  Brothers  of  the 
Christian  schools — Bienville's  departure  from  the  colony — 
The  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil — Hostilities  with  the  Indians — 
Ordinances  of  Vaudreuil  and  Salmon — Vaudreuil's  activity — 
His  police  regulations  —  Vaudreuil  becomes  Governor  of  Can- 
ada—  Introduction  of  the  sugar-cane — The  last  girls  sent  at 
the  King's  expense — Washington  at  Great  Meadows  and  at 
Fort  Necessity — Bossu's  account  of  the  Creoles — Bossu's 
description  of  New  Orleans — Governor  Kerlerec — The 
tragedy  at  Cat  Island — Sad  fate  of  Beaudreau — Unwise  ad- 
ministration of  France  and  of  Louisiana — Marigny  de  Man- 
deville — Adventures  of  Belle-Isle — Defeat  of  the  French  in 
America 11 6 

Chapter  VIII.      The  Cession  of  Louisiana  to  Spain. 
The  Revolution  of  1768. 

Choiseul— The  treaty  of  Fontainebleau  in  1762— The  treaty 
of  Paris  in  1763  —  Names  of  officials  and  officers  in  1763  — 
Damaging  report  against  Kerlerec — Expulsion  of  the  Jesuits 
— West  Florida — The  Indians  regret  the  French — Transfer 
of  Mobile  to  the  British — The  Indians  leave  the  British — 
Little  Manchac — First  arrival  of  the  Acadians — Establish- 
ment of  a  printing-press — Letter  of  Louis  XV  announcing 
the  cession  to  Spain — Charles  III  of  Spain — Nyon  de  Villiers 
abandons  Fort  Chartres  — Death  of  D'Abbadie— Aubry — 
Discontent  of  the  colonists — Arrivals  of  Acadians — Sketch 
of  the  expulsion  of  the  Acadians  by  the  British — Names  of 
officers  at  end  of  French  domination — Don  Antonio  de  Ulloa 
— Ulloa's  unwise  ordinance  of  September  6,  1766 — Petition 
of  the  merchants  of  New  Orleans — Ulloa's  haughtiness  and 
lack  of  tact — Intense  cold  in  1768 — Aubry's  position — The 
Revolution  of  1768— The  Council  adopts  Lafreniere's  con- 
clusions—  Foucault's  opinion — Aubry's  protest — Ulloa's  de- 
parture— Delegates  sent  to  France — Letters  to  Praslin  and 
to  the  King— Address  of  the  Council— Investigation  about 
"vexations"  committed  by  Ulloa— Letter  of  the  inhabitants 
to    Praslin— Ulloa's    council—  Life    and   works    of    Ulloa — 



Baudry  des  Loziere's  opinion  of  Lafreniere — Lafreniere's 
chief  associates — Noble  sentiments  of  the  Louisianians — Ex- 
pulsion of  the  Spanish  frigate 141 

Chapter  IX.      Memorial  of  the  Planters  and  Mer- 


Necessity  of  the  Revolution — Love  for  the  King  of  France — 
Promises  of  Louis  XV  in  the  name  of  the  King  of  Spain — 
Arrival  of  Ulloa — His  reception  by  the  people — Important 
trades  restricted  by  Ulloa — No  outlet  for  products  of  Loui- 
siana in  Spain — Louisiana  to  be  made  a  rampart  to  Mexico — 
No  advantage  in  being  allowed  to  go  to  foreign  countries 
when  there  is  no  market  for  goods  in  Spain — Ulloa  introduces 
the  Spanish  law  in  spite  of  promise  of  Louis  XV — Interdic- 
tion of  the  passes  of  the  Mississippi — Accidents  to  vessels 
through  Ulloa's  order  of  interdiction — Ulloa  closes  brickyards 
—  Ulloa  prohibits  the  introduction  of  negroes — Ulloa  treats 
respectful  representations  as  seditious — Ulloa  does  not  show 
his  powers— Ulloa  treats  New  Orleans  as  a  conquered  city — 
Ulloa  maltreats  the  Germans  and  the  Acadians — Ulloa's  con- 
tempt for  the  ecclesiastical  laws — Frenchmen  have  often 
shaken  off  a  foreign  yoke  without  consent  of  the  government 
— The  Spanish  possessions  better  protected  if  Louisiana  re- 
mains French — The  loss  of  Canada  renders  Louisiana  very 
useful  to  France — Close  relations  with  merchants  of  France — 
Obstacle  to  the  cession  is  love  for  the  King  of  France — The 
flag  of  Spain  was  not  insulted — Prayer  to  the  King  to  take 
back  the  colony — The  Memorial  a  noble  paper 177 

Chapter  X.     O'Reilly  in  Louisiana.     The  Martyrs  of 
the  Revolution  of  1768. 

Ulloa's  account  of  the  Revolution  of  1768 — True  motive  of 
the  opposition  to  Ulloa — Return  of  Lesassier — The  repub- 
lican spirit  in  the  colony — General  O'Reilly's  arrival — 
O'Reilly  takes  possession— O'Reilly  asks  of  Aubry  the  names 
of  the  conspirators — Aubry  acts  as  informer — Aubry's  ac- 
count of  Lafreniere's  doings — Aubry's  account  of  the  Revo- 
lution— Aubry  names  the  conspirators — His  contemptible  let- 
ter— Arrest  of  the  chiefs  of  the  Revolution — Death  of  Villere 
— Bossu's  account  of  Villere's  death— Character  of  Villere — 



O'Reilly's  proclamation — O'Reilly's  address  to  the  con- 
spirators—  The  property  of  the  prisoners  confiscated — The 
inhabitants  take  the  oath  of  allegiance — Aubry's  report  to  the 
French  minister — His  tragic  death — Testimony  against  Fou- 
cault — He  is  released — Act  of  accusation  against  the  prison- 
ers—  Part  taken  in  the  conspiracy  by  each  of  the  prisoners — 
Sentence — The  execution— Burning  of  the  "  Memorial  of  the 
Planters  and  Merchants  "■ — No  excuse  for  O'Reilly's  cruelty 
—  O'Reilly  went  beyond  his  instructions — Release  of  Petit 
and  other  prisoners  from  Morro  Castle — Bienville  de  Noyan 
at  Santo  Domingo— End  of  the  drama 206 

Chapter  XI.     Old  Papers  of  Colonial  Times. 

Interest  of  the  papers  of  colonial  times — Papers  signed  by 
Lafreniere  and  Foucault — A  lawsuit  and  a  petition  in  1769 — 
Hunting  cattle  on  the  Gentilly  coast — Establishment  of  the 
cabildo — The  governor  and  the  commandants — The  alcaldes 
and  the  escribano — Case  of  the  slave  Bautista — Military  life 
in  1795 — Petition  from  a  lady  in  1768 — Louison,  the  Indian, 
freed  from  slavery — Contract  with  the  Acadians — Father 
Dagobert's  induction  into  office — A  petition  from  the  inhabi- 
tants of  Cabaha-noce — Suit  against  the  memory  of  a  sup- 
posed self-homicide — Petition  in  1769  about  a  "carriage" 
(a    pirogue) 231 



La  Salle  Takes  Possession  of  Louisiana  in  the  Name  of 
King  Louis  XIV,  April  9,  1682.  Hand-finished  Water-color 
Facsimile,  reproduced  from  an  original  painting  by  T.  de 
Thulstrup Frontispiece 

Robert  Cavelier  de  la  Salle,  1643-1687,  the  first  explorer 
of  the  Mississippi  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico.  From  a  painting 
by  Leon  Mayer,  1865,  belonging  to  Mine.  Suchet  de  la  Ques- 
nerie.  This  painting  was  executed  from  the  portrait  of 
La  Salle  published  in  "  Memoires  ct  Documents  pour  ser- 
vir  a  l'Histoire  des  Origines  Franchises  des  Pays  d'Outre- 
Mer,"  by  Pierre  Margry,  and  after  the  two  only  authentic 
iconographic  documents  which  exist,  viz.,  the  full-face  me- 
dallion engraving  below  the  portrait  to  the  left,  belonging 
to  M.  Edouard  Pelay  of  Rouen,  and  the  profile  drawing  to 
the  right,  belonging  to  the  Public  Library  at  Rouen.  The 
arms  of  La  Salle  are  reproduced  from  d'Hozier's  work  on 
heraldry  at  the  Bibliotheque   Nationale,  Paris 14 

Map  of  Louisiana,  reproduced  from  Father  Louis  Hennepin's 
"  Description  de  la  Louisiane,  nouvellement  decouverte  au 
Sud-ouest  de  la  Nouvelle  France,"  first  edition,  1683.  This 
is  the  first  map  in  which  the  name  of  "  La  Louisiane  "  ap- 
pears. The  Mississippi  was  then  known  as  the  river  Colbert, 
and  its  course  is  shown  only  to  the  "  Mission  des  Recollets."        28 

Pierre  le  Moyne  d'Iberville,  1 661— 1706,  the  founder  of 
Louisiana.  From  a  contemporary  painting  in  the  collection 
of  the  late  M.  Pierre  Margry,  and  now  belonging  to  M. 
Charles  Chadenat,  Paris 48 

Louis  XIV,  King  of  France,  1638-1715,  after  whom  Loui- 
siana was  named.  From  a  painting  by  Hyaeinthe  Rigaud  in 
the  Louvre  Museum,  Paris 64 



John  Law  of  Lauriston,  1671-1729,  founder  of  the  Com- 
pany of  the  West,  sometimes  called  the  "  Mississippi  Bub- 
ble." From  a  painting  by  Alexis  Simeon  Belle  in  the 
National  Portrait  Gallery,  London 80 

Philippe  II,  Due  d'Orleans,  Regent  of  France,  1674-1723, 
after  whom  the  city  of  New  Orleans  was  named.  From  a 
painting  by  Jean-Baptiste  Santerre  at  the  Versailles  Mu- 
seum          100 

Jean-Baptiste  le  Moyne,  Sieur  de  Bienville  II,  1680-1768, 
three  times  Governor  of  Louisiana.  From  a  contemporary 
painting  in  the  collection  of  the  late  M.  Pierre  Margry,  and 
now  belonging  to  M.  Charles  Chadenat,  Paris 120 

Pierre  Rigaud,  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil,  1678-1760,  surnamed 
the  "  Grand  Marquis,"  Governor  of  Louisiana.  From  a 
painting  of  the  XVIII-century  French  school  (artist  un- 
known), formerly  in  possession  of  the  Comtesse  de  Clermont- 
Tonnerre 136 

Louis  Billouart,  Chevalier  de  Kerlerec,  1704-1770,  sur- 
named by  the  Indians  "  The  Father  of  the  Choctaws,"  Gov- 
ernor of  Louisiana.  From  a  contemporary  portrait  in  pas- 
tel (artist  unknown)  belonging  to  the  Vicomte  de  Villiers  du 
Terrage,  one  of  his  lineal  descendants 154 

Etienne-Francois,  Due  de  Choiseul-Stainville,  1719-1785, 
the  able  minister  of  Louis  XV,  who  signed  the  treaty  of 
Fontainebleau,  November  3,  1762.  From  a  painting  by  Carle 
Van  Loo,  belonging  to  M.  Wildenstein,  Paris 170 

Louis  XV,  King  of  France,  1710-1774,  who  ceded  Louisiana 
to  Spain  by  the  treaty  of  Fontainebleau,  November  3,  1762     204 

Don  Antonio  de  Ulloa,  1716-1795,  first  Spanish  governor 
of  Louisiana.  From  a  contemporary  painting  (artist  un- 
known) in  the  Naval  Museum,  Madrid 234' 


A  native  of  Louisiana  and  a  member  of  a  family  which 
established  itself  in  New  Orleans  shortly  after  the  foun- 
dation of  that  city  in  1718,  the  author  of  this  book  may 
be  permitted  to  say  that  he  has  written  it  con  amore— avec 
amour,  as  he  prefers  to  say  in  the  language  of  his  vener- 
ated ancestors.  It  teas  indeed  a  labor  of  love  to  relate  the 
history  of  Louisiana,  from  the  discovery  of  the  great 
Mississippi  by  the  knightly  De  Soto  to  our  own  times. 
How  pleasant  it  was  to  accompany  La  Salle  down  the 
mighty  river  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  to  witness  the  heroic 
efforts  of  Iberville  and  Bienville  to  colonize  Louisiana, 
to  see  the  growth  of  New  Orleans  and  be  introduced  to 
the  brave  men  and  gentle  women  who  dwelt,  in  the  eigh- 
teenth century,  in  the  little  town  which  they  already  con- 
sidered delightful  and  which  they  compared  with  pride 
to  the  Paris  of  Louis  XV!  How  ennobling  the  Revolu- 
tion of  1768,  when  a  handful  of  men  rose  against  the 
oppresssion  of  a  powerful  foreign  government  and 
thought  of  establishing  a  republic  on  the  banks  of  the 
Mississippi!  How  interesting  the  campaigns  of  Bernardo 
de  Galvez  against  the  British,  which  have  given  the  Louisi- 
anians  of  to-day  the  right  of  belonging  to  the  Society  of 
the  Sons  of  the  American  Revolution! 

The  colonial  history  of  French  and  of  Spanish  Louisi- 


ana  is  highly  instructive  and  interesting,  but  no  less  so  is 
the  history  of  American  Louisiana.  On  December  20, 
1803,  Laussat  transferred  the  province  to  the  United 
States,  and  the  Louisianians  became,  from  that  time,  true 
Americans.  Under  the  leadership  of  Jackson,  they  helped 
to  repel  the  British  from  American  soil,  and  from  1815 
to  1861,  aided  by  worthy  citizens  from  other  parts  of  the 
Union,  they  strove  earnestly  to  develop  the  ■wonderful 
resources  of  their  State.  When  the  Civil  War  broke  out 
the  men  of  Louisiana  fought  bravely  for  rights  which  they 
held  sacred,  and  the  women  displayed  a  patriotism,  a 
courage,  fully  equal  to  that  of  the  men.  More  apparent 
still  was  that  fortitude  during  the  terrible  years  which 
followed  the  war,  until  the  people  regained,  in  1877,  the 
right  of  self-government,  and  made  use  of  it  to  enjoy 
prosperity,  liberty,  and  happiness. 

It  is  natural  that  the  author  of  this  book  should  take 
pride  in  relating  the  history  of  the  events  which  took  place 
on  the  soil  of  Louisiana  for  the  last  two  hundred  years. 
In  nearly  all  of  these  events  men  of  his  name  or  of  his 
blood  took  part.  In  spite  of  this  personal  interest  in  the 
history  of  Louisiana,  the  author  has  striven  earnestly  and 
honestly  to  be  impartial  and  just  in  his  narrative  of  facts 
and  in  his  judgment  of  men.  However,  he  has  not  re- 
frained from  expressing  indignation  at  unworthy  deeds 
and  praise  for  noble  actions.  In  his  opinion,  impartiality 
does  not  preclude  interest  in  events  and  warmth  in  relating 
them.  History  is  not  a  mere  chronicle  of  facts.  It  deals 
with  the  inner  life  of  men,  with  their  customs  and  man- 
ners, as  well  as  with  their  political  and  warlike  deeds.    An 

PREFACE  xvii 

attempt  has  therefore  been  made  in  this  work  to  depict 
both  the  inner  and  the  outward  life  of  the  people  of  Louisi- 
ana, and  for  that  purpose  they  have  often  been  allowed 
to  express  their  feelings  in  their  own  words.  The  author 
has  endeavored  to  revive  the  men  and  women  of  the  past, 
to  show  them  with  their  hearts  throbbing  with  warm  blood, 
with  all  the  impulses  of  humanity.  He  knows  very  well 
that  he  has  not  succeeded  in  this  arduous  task,  but  he  as- 
serts again  that  he  has  striven  to  do  full  justice  to  all  the 
persons  whose  names  he  has  mentioned.  There  is  malice 
against  none,  if  there  is  sometimes  severity. 

It  is  impossible  to  write  the  History  of  Louisiana  with- 
out consulting  the  works  of  Francois  Xavicr  Martin  and 
Charles  Gayarre,  and  grateful  acknowledgment  is  made 
of  the  help  derived  from  these  distinguished  historians.  It 
icas  the  privilege  of  the  author  to  have  enjoyed  the  friend- 
ship of  Mr.  Gayarre  and  to  have  been  encouraged  by  him 
in  his  work.  The  histories  of  Martin  and  of  Gayarre 
were  very  useful  guides,  but  they  did  not  serve  as  a 
foundation  for  this  book.  The  author  used  as  a  basis  for 
it  a  large  number  of  books  by  contemporaries,  news- 
papers from  the  year  1794,  and  manuscript  documents. 
The  latter  are  principally  to  be  found  in  the  archives  of 
the  Louisiana  Historical  Society.  They  are,  for  the 
French  Domination:  Magne's  "Notes  et  Documents,"  a 
large  volume  of  1106  pages,  bought  in  May,  1845,  front 
the  compiler  by  the  State  of  Louisiana;  Pierre  Margry's 
"  Documents  sur  la  Louisiane,"  a  compilation  made  by 
Margry  at  the  request  and  at  the  expense  of  Mr.  John 
Perkins,  who  presented  it  to  the  Louisiana  Historical  So- 

xviii  PREFACE 

cicty:  the  three  volumes  or  parts  bear  the  dates  respectively 
of  May,  September,  and  December,  1849.  There  are  also 
a  volume  of  French  manuscripts  (Mississippi  Valley) ,  one 
of  official  French  orders,  etc.,  and  many  boxes  containing 
legal  papers— petitions,  marriage  contracts,  etc.,  from 
1719  to  1803.  For  the  Spanish  Domination  the  principal 
documents  are  four  volumes  of  Spanish  manuscripts,  com- 
piled from  the  archives  in  Spain  by  the  distinguished 
writer  Pascual  de  Gayangos,  in  1847,  for  the  State  of 
Louisiana,  through  the  efforts  of  Mr.  Gayarre.  Besides 
the  above,  the  author  had  the  very  valuable  Memoir  of 
Francisco  Bouligny,  which  gives  such  a  clear  account  of 
the  condition  of  Louisiana  in  1776,  and  which  was  kindly 
placed  at  his  disposal  by  his  cousin,  Mrs.  Albert  Baldwin, 
a  descendant  of  Francisco  Bouligny. 

Many  hours  were  spent  among  the  archives  at  the  Min- 
istry of  the  Colonies  in  Paris  and  at  the  City  Hall  in  New 
Orleans,  and  at  the  Louisiana  State  Library  and  the 
Howard  Memorial  Library.  Much  useful  and  hitherto 
unpublished  information  was  gathered  in  those  places. 

At  the  end  of  each  volume  notes  have  been  placed,  where 
full  acknowledgment  has  been  made  of  the  sources  of  this 
work.  Literary  honesty  should  be  as  complete  as  business 
honesty,  and  it  is  just  as  wrong  to  rob  a  man  of  his  literary 
work  as  of  his  financial  work. 

The  author  Irishes  to  express  his  sincere  thanks  to  the 
kind  friends  who  so  generously  placed  at  his  disposal  their 
valuable  collections  of  books  and  j)o-mphlets  relating  to 
Louisiana  history:  Messrs.  Gaspar  Cusachs,  Thomas  P. 


Thompson,  J.  W.  Cruzat,  William  Beer,  and  Dr.  Joseph 

The  history  of  Louisiana  is  intimately  connected  with 
the  history  of  France,  of  Spain,  and  of  the  United  States. 
On  its  pages  one  sees  the  names  of  Louis  XIV ,  the  labori- 
ous and  stately  monarch;  of  Louis  XV,  his  despicable  suc- 
cessor; of  the  able  Charles  III  and  the  weak  Charles  IV 
of  Spain;  of  Bonaparte,  the  wonderful  captain  and  states- 
man; of  Lafayette,  the  friend  of  Washington;  of  Thomas 
Jefferson,  the  wise  President;  of  Andrew  Jackson,  the 
victorious  general;  of  Jefferson  Davis,  the  President  of 
the  Southern  Confederacy;  of  William  McKinley,  the 
gracious  and  patriotic  President. 

Our  history  is  also  gloriously  connected  with  that  of 
England.  It  is  a  noble  and  interesting  history;  it  is  that 
of  a  people  who  bore  misfortune  with  courage  and  knew 
how  to  recover  from  it;  of  a  people  with  an  artistic  tem- 
perament; of  a  people  not  perfect  because  human,  but 
whose  faults  one  may  excuse  on  account  of  their  gene- 
rosity, exalted  patriotism,  and  chivalric  sentiments. 

The  author  hopes  that  the  pages  of  his  work  will  bear 
out  the  truth  of  what  he  has  stated  in  this  preface.  He 
does  not  hope  that  his  readers  will  be  as  well  pleased  with 
the  text  as  with  the  beautiful  artistic  setting  given  to  it  by 
the  publishers.  Let  him  at  least  be  given  the  credit  of 
having  labored  faithfully  to  present  a  true  picture  of  his 
beloved  Louisiana,  once  French,  once  Spanish,  but  now 
American  forever. 

Alcee  Fortier. 

New  Orleans,  September  16,  1903. 


Volume  I 


The  Spanish  Explorers 


The  Spanish  explorers  not  successful  within  the  limits  of  the  present  United 
States— Ponce  de  Leon  discovers  Florida— Pineda  is  said  to  have  discovered 
the  Mississippi -Vasquez  de  Ayllon  in  Florida—  Parophilo  de  Narvaez— 
Cabeza  and  the  Mississippi— De  Soto's  equipment -Spirit  of  his  followers 
—Landing  of  De  Soto— His  treatment  of  the  natives— The  massacre  of 
Vitachuco's  warriors— Search  for  gold— The  female  cacique— Tuscaluza — 
Disaster  at  Mauvila— In  the  country  of  the  Chickasaws— Discovery  of 
the  Mississippi -Death  of  De  Soto— Luis  de  Moscoso. 

FTER  Columbus  had  discovered  the 

New  World  for  the  Crown  of  Cas- 
tile, the  Spaniards  undertook  expe- 
ditions across  the  Atlantic  Ocean  and 
reaped  a  rich  harvest  in  Peru  and 
Mexico,  where  the  boldness  of  Pi- 
zarro  and  of  Cortez  won  for  Spain 
immense  provinces  and  countless  treasures.  The  Span- 
ish explorers,  however,  were  not  successful  within  the 
limits  of  the  country  that  is  now  the  United  States,  meet- 
ing only  with  defeat  and  disaster. 

In  1512  Juan  Ponce  de  Leon,  a  companion  of  Colum- 
bus in  his  second  expedition,  sailed  from  Porto  Rico  to 
search  the  island  of  Bimini,  where  he  thought  he  should 

4  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [1512 

find  the  Fountain  of  Youth.  He  landed  on  March  27, 
Easter  Sunday  (Pascua  Florida,  in  Spanish),  and  gave 
to  the  country  he  had  discovered  the  pretty  name  of 
Florida.1  He  explored  the  coast  and  was  received  with 
hostility  hy  the  Indians.  In  1521  he  endeavored  to  con- 
quer Florida,  and  was  mortally  wounded  by  the  natives. 

In  1519  Alvarez  de  Pineda,  who  was  sent  on  an  explor- 
ing expedition  by  Francisco  de  Garay,  Governor  of  Ja- 
maica, is  said  to  have  discovered  the  Mississippi  River, 
and  named  it  the  Rio  del  Espiritu  Santo.  This  fact  has 
been  accepted  by  several  modern  historians,  but  Mr.  W. 
B.  Scaife,2  in  1892,  and  Mr.  Peter  J.  Hamilton,3  in  1898, 
appear  to  have  proved  that  the  Espiritu  Santo  was  not  the 
Mississippi,  but  the  Mobile  River. 

In  1520  Vasquez  de  Ayllon  landed  on  the  coast  of 
Florida,  now  South  Carolina,  a  country  called  Chicora  by 
the  Indians.  De  Ayllon  treacherously  carried  away  sev- 
eral Indians,  to  work  in  the  gold-mines  and  on  the  planta- 
tions of  the  Spaniards.  In  1525  he  made  another  expedi- 
tion; but  the  Indians  lured  him  into  a  feeling  of  safety 
and  then  massacred  nearly  all  the  invaders.  The  per- 
fidious De  Ayllon  himself  was  probably  among  the  slain. 

The  misfortunes  of  Ponce  de  Leon  and  of  Vasquez  de 
Ayllon  did  not  deter  Pamphilo  de  Narvaez  from  endea- 
voring to  conquer  Florida  in  1528.  The  story  of  his  ex- 
pedition also  is  one  of  disaster.  Narvaez  perished,  and 
only  five  of  his  followers  escaped  from  the  fatal  land 
discovered  by  Ponce  de  Leon.  They  succeeded  in  reach- 
ing Mexico  after  ten  years  of  wandering,  and  one  of  the 
number,  Alvar  Nunez  Cabeza  de  Vaca,  returned  to  Spain. 

1538]  DE    SOTO'S   EXPEDITION  5 

In  spite  of  his  sufferings  in  Florida,  Alvar  Nunez  gave 
a  glowing  description  of  the  wealth  of  that  country.  In 
his  wanderings  he  must  have  crossed  the  Mississippi 
River,  hut  he  does  not  mention  that  fact. 

On  hearing  the  narrative  of  Alvar  Nunez,  Hernando 
de  Soto  conceived  the  project  of  conquering  Florida  and 
its  riches.4  He  had  been  a  follower  of  Pizarro  and  one  of 
the  bravest  and  most  chivalric  of  the  conquistadorcs  of 
Peru.  He  obtained  from  Charles  V  the  permission  to 
conquer  Florida,  and  received  the  title  of  Governor  and 
Captain-General  of  Cuba  and  Florida,  and  in  the  lat- 
ter country  he  was  also  to  be  adelantado,  that  is  to  say, 
he  was  to  have  absolute  authority  in  military  and  civil 

Many  of  the  noblest  and  most  warlike  men  in  Spain, 
soldiers  of  fortune,  and  Portuguese  cavaliers,  were  eager 
to  join  De  Soto's  expedition.  The  commander  chose  six 
hundred  men  (some  say  nine  hundred  and  fifty)  from 
those  who  applied  to  him,  and  left  Spain,  on  April  6, 1538, 
with  a  fleet  of  nine  vessels.  On  his  arrival  in  Cuba,  De 
Soto  spent  a  year  in  organizing  his  expedition,  and  when 
he  sailed  for  Florida,  on  May  18,  1539,  nothing  was  lack- 
ing in  his  equipment.  He  had  artisans,  miners,  and 
chemists  to  work  the  gold-mines,  chains  and  fetters  and 
bloodhounds  for  the  captives,  and  live  stock  for  his  men. 
He  was  himself  bold,  energetic,  and  enthusiastic;  his  fol- 
lowers were  intrepid,  and  they  were  all  confident  of  suc- 
cess ;  but  they  carried  with  them  the  doom  of  the  enterprise 
in  the  instruments  for  working  the  mines  and  torturing 
the  captives.     Greed  for  gold,  and  unrelenting  cruelty, 

6  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [1539 

were  too  often  traits  of  the  Spanish  conquerors,  and  their 
failures  are  to  be  attributed  to  their  vices.  We  cannot 
but  admire  their  fortitude  and  bravery,  but  we  must  con- 
demn their  insatiable  cupidity  and  their  treatment  of  the 
natives.  The  cruelty  of  De  Soto's  predecessors  in  Florida, 
and  his  own  implacable  spirit,  were  to  be  the  greatest  hin- 
drance to  his  conquest. 

The  Spanish  fleet  reached  the  bay  of  Espiritu  Santo 
(Tampa  Bay)  on  May  30,  1539,  and  in  a  few  days  the 
troops  were  debarked.  The  men  were  clad  in  glittering 
armor;  most  of  them  were  armed  with  crossbows,  swords, 
and  lances,  while  eighteen  had  harquebuses,  and  there  was 
one  piece  of  ordnance.  The  Indians  were  hostile  from 
the  outset,  but  were  terrified  by  the  firearms  and  especially 
by  the  war-horses,  covered  with  steel,  like  the  men  who 
rode  them.  The  first  village  they  met  was  that  of  Hirigue, 
six  miles  from  the  sea,  and  De  Soto  tried  to  conciliate  the 
Indian  chief.  The  latter,  however,  remained  hostile,  and 
so  did  Acuera,  farther  in  the  interior.  The  Indians  re- 
membered the  cruel  deeds  of  De  Ayllon  and  of  Narvaez, 
and  De  Soto's  conduct  was  not  such  as  to  pacify  them. 
He  captured  and  put  in  chains  several  savages,  to  serve 
as  guides,  and,  on  one  occasion,  he  had  some  of  these 
guides  torn  to  pieces  by  bloodhounds,  as  he  suspected 
them  of  treachery. 

The  Spaniards  continued  their  march  toward  the  north, 
and,  after  a  toilsome  journey,  reached  the  country  of  Vi- 
tachuco,  a  cacique  who  was  hostile  at  first  but  afterward 
appeared  to  be  friendly.  Here  happened  a  terrible  event. 
Vitachuco,  wishing  to  show  his  warriors  to  the  invaders, 


assembled  them  all,  on  a  certain  day,  as  if  for  review.  De 
Soto  also  said  that  he  would  display  his  soldiers,  and  he 
made  them  march  fully  armed  before  the  Indians.  All 
at  once  the  Spaniards  attacked  Vitachuco's  warriors  and 
killed  five  hundred  of  them  and  captured  nine  hundred. 
The  latter,  soon  afterward,  revolted  against  their  tyrants 
and  were  all  put  to  death  in  cold  blood.  De  Soto's  excuse 
for  this  dreadful  deed  was,  that  if  he  had  not  attacked  the 
Indians  they  would  have  massacred  his  men,  and  he 
had  merely  anticipated  them. 

After  this  the  natives  were  more  hostile  than  ever,  and 
the  Spaniards  lost  many  men  in  crossing  the  swamp  called 
the  Great  Morass  on  their  way  to  the  Appalachee  country. 
Here  they  hoped  to  find  gold,  and  they  established  their 
winter  quarters  at  the  town  of  Anhayca,  from  which  the 
inhabitants  had  fled.  No  gold,  however,  was  to  be  found, 
and  De  Soto  sent  detachments  to  explore  the  country. 
One  of  his  lieutenants  came  to  the  sea  and  discovered 
a  favorable  harbor  near  the  village  of  Aute.  The  ships 
were  ordered  to  go  to  that  place;  but  as  a  better  harbor 
was  discovered  in  the  bay  of  Achusi  (now  Pensacola), 
De  Soto  ordered  his  ships  to  bring  supplies  from  Havana 
and  to  await  him  in  Achusi  Bay  in  the  autumn  of  1540. 
He  was  desirous  of  going  to  the  province  of  Cofachiqui, 
where,  it  was  said,  gold  was  in  abundance,  and  he  passed 
through  what  is  now  the  State  of  Georgia.  The  Indians 
were  friendly,  and  supplied  the  Spaniards  with  food. 

Cofachiqui  was  ruled  by  a  beautiful  female  cacique, 
who  received  the  strangers  with  kindness.  The  latter, 
disappointed  at  not  finding  gold,  plundered  the  sacred 

8  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [15*0 

relics  of  the  Indians  and  took  all  the  jewels  they  con- 
tained. The  troops  were  now  anxious  to  form  a  settle- 
ment, but  the  governor  resolved  to  continue  his  march, 
and  he  arrived,  about  the  first  of  August,  at  the  village 
of  Coosa  in  the  present  State  of  Alabama.  He  then 
reached  the  country  of  Tuscaluza,  a  powerful  chief,  tall, 
handsome,  and  ferocious-looking.  The  cacique  was  hos- 
pitable to  the  strangers,  but  De  Soto,  as  was  his  custom, 
got  possession  of  the  Indian  chief  under  pretense  of  hon- 
oring him.  He  gave  him  a  scarlet  robe,  mounted  him  on 
a  horse,  and  took  him  on  his  expedition.  The  cacique 
saw  that  he  was  a  prisoner,  and  when  he  arrived  with 
the  Spaniards  at  the  town  of  Mauvila,  on  the  Alabama 
River,  he  determined  to  free  himself  from  his  supposed 
guard  of  honor.  He  had  secretly  ordered  all  his  war- 
riors to  meet  at  Mauvila,  and  there  the  Spaniards  suffered 
a  terrible  disaster. 

De  Soto  entered  the  town  with  two  hundred  infantry 
and  half  his  cavalry,  the  main  body  of  the  army  having 
been  left  behind  under  Luis  de  Moscoso.  Shortly  after 
the  arrival  of  the  vanguard  in  the  town,  the  war-whoop 
of  the  Indians  was  heard,  and  the  Spaniards  were  at- 
tacked by  countless  numbers.  The  battle  raged  furi- 
ously within  the  town,  and  then  outside.  The  Indians 
fought  with  wonderful  courage,  but  were  not  able  to  resist 
the  attacks  of  the  Spaniards  after  Moscoso  had  joined 
his  chief.  Mauvila  was  burned,  thousands  of  Indians, 
men,  women,  and  children,  perished,  and  the  Spaniards 
lost  eighty-two  men  and  forty-two  horses.  After  this 
disaster  De  Soto  resolved  not  to  continue  his  march  to 


Achusi  Bay,  as  he  discovered  that  his  men  would  probably 
abandon  the  expedition  if  they  came  to  the  ships.  He 
decided  to  return  northward  in  search  of  the  promised 
land  of  gold. 

He  soon  arrived  at  what  is  now  the  State  of  Mississippi, 
and  in  the  country  of  the  Chickasaws  the  Spaniards  met 
with  a  disaster  even  greater  than  that  at  Mauvila.  Their 
treatment  of  the  Indians  had  been,  as  usual,  harsh  and 
even  cruel,  and  the  latter  attacked  them  one  night  in  large 
numbers.  The  town  where  they  dwelt  was  burned,  and 
they  lost  forty  men,  nearly  all  their  herd  of  swine,  fifty 
horses,  and  their  baggage.  They  remained  nearly  with- 
out clothing  and  without  weapons,  and  in  a  desperate 
situation.  Their  chief,  however,  inspired  them  with  his 
courage  and  fortitude.  They  re-tempered  their  swords, 
made  new  lances  and  shields,  and  manufactured  a  fabric 
for  clothing. 

After  leaving  the  Chickasaw  country,  the  Spaniards 
reached,  in  April,  1541,  the  banks  of  a  great  river.  De 
Soto  had  discovered  the  mighty  Mississippi.  It  was  not 
far  from  the  mouth  of  the  Arkansas  River,  at  about  the 
thirty-fifth  degree  of  latitude,  that  the  Spanish  chieftain 
first  beheld  the  Mississippi,  which  he  called  the  Rio 

The  Spaniards  crossed  the  Mississippi,  and  proceeded 
to  the  White  River  country  in  Arkansas.  After  they 
had  marched  northward  for  some  time,  the  winter  became 
very  severe,  and  the  invaders  suffered  intensely  from 
the  cold.  They  were  also  harassed  by  the  natives,  and 
De  Soto  resolved  to  return  to  the  Mississippi,  and  to 

10  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [uu 

descend  to  its  mouth  in  boats.  He  reached  the  village  of 
Guachoya,  about  twenty  miles  below  the  mouth  of  the 
Arkansas,  and  there  the  intrepid  captain  expired,  May 
21,  1542.  He  was  buried  in  the  great  river  he  had  dis- 
covered. He  had  named  Luis  de  Moscoso  his  successor, 
and  the  latter,  with  about  three  hundred  men,  succeeded, 
after  incredible  sufferings,  in  sailing  down  the  Mississippi 
and  reaching  the  coast  of  Mexico. 

The  expedition  of  Hernando  de  Soto  was  bold  and 
romantic,  and  is  important  on  account  of  the  discovery  of 
the  Mississippi,  but  it  required  the  wonderful  energy  and 
courage  of  Robert  Cavelier  de  La  Salle  to  enable  the 
Europeans  to  colonize  the  country  traversed  by  De  Soto, 
and  to  take  advantage  of  the  great  river  that  passes 
through  Louisiana  in  its  rapid  course  toward  the  Gulf 
of  Mexico. 


The  French  Explorers 
marquette  and  joilet—  hennepin  —  la  salle 

Spirit  of  the  French  explorers— The  St.  Lawrence— Acadia — Quebec— The 
missionaries — Montreal— La  Salle — Discovery  of  the  Ohio — Marquette — 
Joliet — The  Mississippi — Return  of  the  explorers — Death  of  Marquette — 
La  Salle's  plans — Frontenac — Tonty — Hennepin — The  Griffin — Fort  Creve- 
coeur — Hennepin's  expedition — Description  of  the  Mississippi — Du  Lhut 
— "  Louis,"  Indian  name  for  "  sun,"  according  to  Hennepin — First  mention 
of  the  name  "Louisiane" — Gilmary  Shea's  opinion  of  Hennepin — La  Salle 
at  Fort  Frontenac — The  Iroquois  and  the  Illinois — La  Salle  enters  the 
Mississippi — The  mouth  of  the  Mississippi — Official  account  of  taking  pos- 
session— Father  Membre's  description  of  the  Mississippi — Fort  St.  Louis 
of  the  Illinois— La  Salle  authorized  to  form  a  settlement — Fort  St.  Louis 
of  Texas — Murder  of  La  Salle — Destruction  of  La  Salle's  settlement. 

ORE  than  a  century  elapsed,  after 
the  discovery  of  the  Mississippi  by 
De  Soto,  before  the  mighty  river 
was  visited  again  by  white  men,  and 
the  explorers  were  no  longer  soldiers 
clad  in  armor  and  adventurers  cruel 
and  eager  for  gold,  but  peaceable 
men,  whose  only  thought  was  their  King  and  their  God. 
Joliet  and  Marquette  were  very  different  from  De 
Soto  and  Moscoso,  and  the  humble  trader  and  the  saintly 
priest  were  as  heroic  as  the  warlike  Spanish  knights. 

From  the  expedition  of  Ponce  de  Leon  to  that  of  De 


12  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [leos 

Soto,  the  Spaniards  had  failed  in  their  undertakings  to 
conquer  Florida  and  the  country  bordering  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi. The  French  were  more  successful  in  the  north. 
The  Bretons,  the  Normans,  and  the  Basques  are  said  to 
have  discovered  the  coast  of  North  America  before  John 
Cabot,  and  in  1524  Verrazano  was  sent  by  Francis  I 
to  explore  the  Atlantic  coast  of  our  present  United 
States.  In  1534  Cartier  entered  the  Gulf  of  St.  Law- 
rence, and  in  1535  he  saw  the  future  sites  of  Quebec  and 
Montreal.  He  and  Roberval  attempted  to  establish  a 
colony  on  the  St.  Lawrence  River,  but  were  not  success- 
ful, and  it  was  only  in  1605  that  a  permanent  settlement 
was  effected  at  Port  Royal  by  De  Monts  and  Poutrin- 
court.  This  was  the  beginning  of  Acadia,  which  was  to 
be  celebrated  in  history  and  in  romance. 

On  the  great  St.  Lawrence  River  Samuel  Champlain 
laid  the  foundation  of  Quebec  in  1608  and  was  the  pioneer 
of  New  France.  By  the  side  of  the  French  colonist  and 
of  the  soldier  stood  the  Catholic  priest — at  first  the  Re- 
collet  friar,  then  the  Jesuit  father.  The  savage  native 
must  be  taught  the  word  of  Christ,  he  must  be  civilized 
and  become  a  faithful  and  peaceful  subject  of  the  King 
of  France.  Such  was  the  task  of  the  Jesuit  missionary, 
and  we  follow  him  with  wonder  and  admiration  among 
the  Indians,  where  his  courage  never  falters,  where  his 
religious  zeal  is  never  abated,  and  where  he  gladly  suf- 
fers martyrdom  for  the  cause  of  his  God  and  his  country. 
The  missionary  of  the  seventeenth  century  may  have 
been  somewhat  of  a  fanatic,  but  his  defects  were  those  of 
his  age.    His  virtues  were  unflinching  courage,  unswerv- 

16+2]        FOUNDATION  OF  MONTREAL  13 

ing  devotion  to  duty,  and  sincere  piety.  The  names  of 
Lejeune,  Brebeuf,  Gamier,  Lallemand,  Bressani,  Jogues, 
Dablon,  Allouez,  Marquette,  and  of  many  other  humble 
heroes,  deserve  to  be  inscribed  in  American  history.  Their 
missions  often  failed,  and  most  of  them  fell  victims  to 
the  rage  of  the  barbarous  savages,  but,  as  Parkman  ob- 
serves, their  labors  were  not  in  vain.  The  Indians  were 
civilized  by  them,  to  some  extent,  and  in  the  wars  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  from  Canada  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico, 
we  do  not  see  the  horrible  deeds  so  frequent  in  the  seven- 
teenth century.  The  Iroquois  fiends  tortured  the  priests 
and  destroyed  their  missions ;  but  the  fortitude  and  Chris- 
tian spirit  of  the  martyrs  exerted  unconsciously  an  in- 
fluence over  the  demons  of  the  Five  Nations  and  of  other 

The  second  city  founded  in  Canada  was  Villemarie  de 
Montreal,  in  1642,  and  it  owed  its  birth  to  religious  en- 
thusiasm. "  It  was  to  be,"  says  Parkman,  "  a  sacred 
town,  reared  to  the  honor  and  under  the  patronage  of 
Christ,  St.  Joseph,  and  the  Virgin."  The  types  of  the 
founders  are  represented  by  the  saintly  Mademoiselle 
Mance  and  the  brave  and  pious  Maisonneuve.  The  town 
resisted  the  fury  of  the  Indians  and  served  as  a  refuge  to 
the  few  missionaries  who  were  not  tortured  by  the  Iro- 
quois, at  the  time  of  the  destruction  of  the  Hurons,  of 
the  Neutrals,  and  of  the  Andastes  by  the  fierce  warriors  of 
the  Five  Nations.  Montreal  plays  an  important  part 
in  the  history  of  the  French  explorers,  who  were  to  be 
the  successors  of  the  missionaries  in  the  virgin  forests  and 
among  the  Indians. 



Although,  in  the  first  half  of  the  seventeenth  century, 
France  possessed  Quehec  and  Montreal,  on  the  mighty 
St.  Lawrence,  the  ambition  of  the  officers  of  the  King  was 
to  extend  the  dominion  of  their  monarch  beyond  the  Great 
Lakes,  and  to  explore  the  country  watered  by  the  rivers 
flowing  toward  the  west  and  the  south.  The  man  who 
was  to  accomplish  this  purpose  was  Robert  Cavelier  de 
La  Salle.  Robert  Cavelier,  known  as  La  Salle,  from 
the  name  of  an  estate  near  Rouen,  was  born,  in  1643,  of 
a  wealthy  burgher  family,  and  was  connected  in  his  youth 
with  the  Jesuits,  but  he  parted  from  the  order  on  good 
terms  and  went  in  1666  to  Montreal,  where  he  had  a 
brother,  Jean  Cavelier,  a  Sulpitian  priest.  The  Sulpi- 
tians  at  that  time  were  the  feudal  lords  of  Montreal,  and 
from  them  La  Salle  obtained  the  gratuitous  grant  of  a 
tract  of  land  at  the  place  now  called  La  Chine,  eight  or 
nine  miles  from  Montreal.  He  soon  began  to  effect  a 
settlement,  but  as  his  mind  was  fired  with  the  desire  of 
exploring  the  great  river  so  often  mentioned  by  the  In- 
dians, he  sold  his  seigniory  to  procure  the  means  for  an 
expedition.  He  obtained  the  consent  of  the  governor, 
Courcelles,  and  of  the  intendant,  Talon,  and  set  out  on 
his  first  voyage  of  discovery,  on  July  6,  1669.  Two  Sul- 
pitian priests,  Dollier  de  Casson  and  Gallinee,  who  were 
about  to  undertake  an  exploring  expedition,  were  re- 
quested by  Governor  Courcelles  to  act  in  concert  with 
La  Salle.  The  latter  parted  from  his  companions  in  Sep- 
tember at  a  place  called  Otinawatawa,  on  Lake  Ontario. 
Here  he  met  Joliet,  the  future  discoverer  of  the  Missis- 
sippi.   The  Sulpitians  went  toward  the  upper  lakes,  and 

1671]  DISCOVERY   OF   THE   OHIO   RIVER     15 

La  Salle  proceeded  on  his  journey  to  discover  the  great 
rivers  flowing  south.  There  is  some  uncertainty  about 
his  explorations  at  that  time,  but  there  is  no  doubt  that  he 
discovered  the  Ohio  River  in  1671,  and  probably  the  Illi- 
nois also.  To  other  explorers,  however,  belongs  the  honor 
of  having  been  the  first  white  men  to  rediscover  the  Mis- 
sissippi, after  Hernando  de  Soto. 

The  Jesuits  had  established  missions  on  the  upper  lakes, 
among  which  were  those  at  Saut  Sainte-Marie,  at  St. 
Esprit,  at  Michilimackinac,  and  at  Manatoulin  Island. 
One  of  their  most  zealous  and  most  courageous  mission- 
aries was  Jacques  Marquette,  and  he  was  chosen  to  ac- 
company the  fur-trader  Louis  Joliet  on  an  expedition 
organized  by  Talon,  the  intendant,  and  approved  by 
Count  Frontenac,  after  the  intendant's  departure  from 
the  colony. 

Louis  Joliet  was  born  at  Quebec  in  1645.  He  was 
educated  by  the  Jesuits  and  received  the  minor  orders 
of  that  religious  company,  but  he  finally  became  a  fur- 
trader.  He  was  sent  by  the  intendant  Talon  to  explore 
the  copper-mines  of  Lake  Superior,  and  it  was  on  his 
return  that  he  met  La  Salle  on  Lake  Ontario.  He  did 
not  succeed  in  this  expedition,  but  Talon,  who  appears  to 
have  had  a  high  opinion  of  his  intelligence  and  boldness, 
selected  him  to  rediscover  the  Mississippi.  Joliet's  associ- 
ate, Father  Jacques  Marquette,  was  born  at  Laon  in  1637. 
He  was  renowned  for  his  energy,  his  gentleness,  and 
his  piety.  His  journal  of  the  expedition  is  very  in- 

The  travelers  set  out  from  Michilimackinac  on  May 

16  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [ists 

17,  1673,  in  two  birch  canoes,  with  five  men.  They  soon 
entered  the  Wisconsin  River,  and  reached  the  Mississippi 
on  June  17,  1673.1  "  Behold  us  then,"  says  Marquette, 
"  upon  this  celebrated  river,  whose  singularities  I  have 
attentively  studied.  The  Mississippi  takes  its  rise  in  sev- 
eral lakes  in  the  north.  Its  channel  is  very  narrow  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Wisconsin,  and  runs  south  until  it  is  affected 
by  very  high  hills.  Its  current  is  slow,  because  of  its 
depth.  In  sounding  we  found  nineteen  fathoms  of  water. 
A  little  farther  on  it  widens  nearly  three  quarters  of  a 
league,  and  the  width  continues  to  be  more  equal.  We 
slowly  followed  its  course  to  the  south  and  southeast  to 
the  42°  north  latitude.  Here  we  perceived  the  country 
change  its  appearance.  There  were  scarcely  any  more 
woods  or  mountains.  The  islands  were  covered  with  fine 
trees,  but  we  could  not  see  any  more  roebucks,  buffaloes, 
bustards,  and  swans.  We  met  from  time  to  time  mon- 
strous fish,  which  struck  so  violently  against  our  canoes, 
that  first  we  took  them  to  be  large  trees,  which  threat- 
ened to  upset  us.  As  we  were  descending  the  river  we  saw 
high  rocks  with  hideous  monsters  painted  on  them,  upon 
which  the  bravest  Indians  dare  not  look.  As  we  fell  down 
the  river,  and  while  we  were  discoursing  upon  these  mon- 
sters, we  heard  a  great  rushing  and  bubbling  of  waters, 
and  small  islands  of  floating  trees  coming  from  the  mouth 
of  the  Pekitanoui  ( the  Missouri ) ,  with  such  rapidity  that 
we  could  not  trust  ourselves  to  go  near  it.  The  water  of 
this  river  is  so  muddy  that  we  could  not  drink  it.  It  so 
discolors  the  Mississippi  as  to  make  the  navigation  of 
it  dangerous.     The  river  comes  from  the  northwest,  and 


flows  into  the  Mississippi,  and  on  its  banks  are  Indian 
villages.  We  judged  by  the  compass  that  the  Mississippi 
discharged  itself  into  the  Gidf  of  Mexico.  It  would, 
however,  have  been  more  agreeable  if  it  had  discharged 
itself  into  the  South  Sea  or  the  Gulf  of  California." 

The  explorers  descended  the  Mississippi  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Arkansas  River,  and,  having  established  the  fact 
that  the  Mississippi  flows  into  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  they 
set  out  on  their  return  journey  on  July  17,  1673,  and 
reached  Green  Bay  at  the  end  of  September.  Joliet  went 
to  Quebec,  where  the  news  of  his  discovery  was  received 
with  great  joy,  and  Marquette  remained  at  the  mission. 
The  last  words  of  the  latter's  journal  testify  to  his  sin- 
cere piety:  "  If  my  perilous  journey  had  been  attended 
with  no  other  advantage  than  the  salvation  of  one 
soul,  I  would  think  my  perils  sufficiently  rewarded.  I 
preached  the  Gospel  to  the  Illinois  of  Perouacca  for  three 
days  together.  My  instructions  made  such  an  impression 
upon  these  poor  people  that  when  we  were  about  to  depart 
they  brought  to  me  a  dying  child  to  baptize,  which  I  did, 
about  half  an  hour  before  he  died,  and  which,  by  a  spe- 
cial providence,  God  was  pleased  to  save."  In  1674  Fa- 
ther Marquette  undertook  to  found  a  mission  among  the 
Illinois,  and  he  died  on  May  19,  1675.  Like  his  prede- 
cessors, Brebeuf,  Lallemand,  and  Jogues,  he  was  a  mar- 
tyr to  his  faith. 

The  discoveries  of  Marquette  and  Joliet  are  important, 
but  they  led  to  no  practical  results.  La  Salle's  explora- 
tions are  much  more  valuable.  He  intended  to  hold  the 
whole  country  for  the  French  King,  from  the  Great 

18  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [mi 

Lakes  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  establishing  colonies  and 
keeping  the  Indians  in  check  by  posts  in  the  interior,  and 
the  Spaniards  and  the  English  by  a  fort  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Mississippi.  Fortunately,  in  Count  Frontenac  he 
found  a  zealous  and  powerful  protector.  The  latter  left 
Quebec,  and  with  a  small  force  of  soldiers  and  volunteers 
struck  boldly  into  the  country  of  the  Iroquois.  He  over- 
awed the  Indians  and  built  a  fort,  which  La  Salle  called 
Fort  Frontenac,  and  of  which  he  obtained  the  grant  from 
the  King,  when  he  made  a  voyage  to  France  in  1674.  He 
obtained  also  letters  patent  of  nobility.  His  seigniory 
prospered,  but  he  cared  not  for  riches.  He  was  anxious 
to  explore  the  western  and  southern  parts  of  New  France, 
and  when  he  went  to  France  in  1677  he  obtained  from  the 
King  in  1678  a  patent  that  authorized  him  to  explore  the 
country,  to  build  forts,  and  to  find  a  way  to  Mexico,  pro- 
vided his  enterprise  be  accomplished  within  five  years.  He 
also  obtained  the  monopoly  of  trade  in  buffalo  hides.  La 
Salle  met  in  France  Henri  de  Tonty,  who  sailed  with 
him  for  Canada  and  became  his  ablest  and  most  faithful 
lieutenant.  Tonty  was  an  Italian,  had  lost  a  hand  in 
the  Sicilian  wars,  and  had  replaced  it  by  an  iron  one.  He 
is  one  of  the  most  sympathetic  characters  to  be  found  in 
early  American  history. 

On  arriving  at  Quebec,  La  Salle  found  awaiting  him 
Father  Louis  Hennepin,  who  was  to  play  an  important 
part  in  the  proposed  expedition.  Hennepin  was  a  Re- 
collet  friar,  born  in  Hainault,  and  had  settled  at  Fort 
Frontenac  in  1675.  He  was  inured  to  fatigue  and  was 
bold,  but  was  conceited  and  apparently  mendacious.    His 


first  work,  "  Description  de  la  Louisiane  "  (Paris,  1683), 
is  important  and  interesting  and  tolerably  accurate;  but 
after  La  Salle's  death  huge  falsehoods  appeared  in  the 
friar's  books.  He  and  Lamothe  preceded  La  Salle  to  the 
Niagara  River,  where,  two  leagues  above  the  Falls,  La 
Salle  decided  to  build  a  ship.  The  explorer  himself  set 
out  on  foot  for  Fort  Frontenac,  a  distance  of  two  hundred 
and  fifteen  miles,  and  left  Tonty  to  finish  the  vessel. 
This  was  done,  and  the  ship  was  named  the  Griffin,  She 
was  ready  for  the  expedition,  but  several  months  passed 
before  La  Salle  returned.  He  reported  that  his  creditors 
had  seized  his  property  in  Canada.  This,  however,  did 
not  deter  him.  He  sailed  on  the  Griffin  into  Lake  Erie, 
then  into  the  Strait  of  Detroit,  and  then  passed  from  Lake 
St.  Clair  into  the  wide  Lake  Huron.  He  reached  the 
Jesuit  mission  of  Michilimackinac,  entered  Lake  Michi- 
gan, and,  at  the  entrance  of  Green  Bay,  found  some  of 
his  men  with  a  large  quantity  of  furs.  These  furs  he 
resolved,  unfortunately,  to  send  to  Niagara  on  board  of 
the  Griffin,  and  he  never  again  heard  of  his  vessel  or  his 
furs.  He  continued  his  expedition  in  canoes,  and  entered 
the  St.  Joseph  River  among  the  Miamis.  Then,  shoul- 
dering their  canoes,  the  men  reached  the  Illinois  River. 
In  the  country  of  the  Illinois,  La  Salle  built  Fort  Creve- 
coeur,  and,  as  several  of  his  men  had  deserted  him,  and 
he  was  in  great  need  of  succor,  he  set  out  on  foot  for 
Fort  Frontenac,  giving  orders  to  build  a  new  vessel  in  his 
absence.  Before  leaving,  he  sent  Father  Hennepin  to 
explore  the  Illinois  River  to  its  mouth. 

In  the  winter  of  1680  Hennepin  set  out  on  his  expedi- 

20  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [igso 

tion.  He  was  accompanied  by  Accau  and  Du  Gay.  In 
his  "  Description  of  Louisiana  "  2  he  says  that  he  came 
to  the  mouth  of  the  river  Seignelay  (Illinois)  on  March 
7,  1680,  then  he  adds:  "  The  river  Colbert  (Mississippi) 
runs  south-southwest,  and  comes  from  the  north  and 
northwest ;  it  runs  between  two  chains  of  mountains,  very 
small  here,  which  wind  with  the  river,  and  in  some  places 
are  pretty  far  from  the  banks,  so  that  between  the  moun- 
tains and  the  river  there  are  large  prairies,  where  you 
often  see  herds  of  wild  cattle  browsing.  In  other  places 
these  eminences  leave  semi-circular  spots  covered  with 
grass  or  wood.  Beyond  these  mountains  you  discover 
vast  plains,  but  the  more  we  approach  the  northern  side 
ascending,  the  earth  did  not  appear  to  us  so  fertile,  nor  ' 
the  woods  so  beautiful  as  in  the  Illinois  country. 

"  This  great  river  is  almost  everywhere  a  short  league 
in  width,  and  in  some  places  two  leagues;  it  is  divided 
by  a  number  of  islands  covered  with  trees,  interlaced  with 
so  many  vines  as  to  be  almost  impassable.  It  receives  no 
considerable  river  on  the  western  side  except  that  of  the 
Otontenta,  and  another,  which  comes  from  the  west-north- 
west, seven  or  eight  leagues  from  the  Falls  of  St.  An- 
thony of  Padua." 

Hennepin  says  that  on  April  11,  1680,  he  and  his  com- 
panions were  captured  by  a  band  of  one  hundred  and 
twenty  Sioux.  After  many  adventures  they  were  found, 
on  July  25,  1680,  not  far  from  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony, 
by  a  celebrated  coureur  de  bois,  Greysolon  du  Lhut,  ac- 
companied by  four  Frenchmen.  On  Du  Lhut's  promis- 
ing to  come  back  with  goods,  Hennepin  was  allowed  to 
return  with  him  by  way  of  the  Wisconsin  River. 



Hennepin's  "  Description  de  la  Louisiane,  nouvelle- 
ment  decouverte  au  Sud-Ouest  de  la  Nouvelle  France  " 
was  dedicated  to  Louis  XIV.  The  author  says:  "  We 
have  given  the  name  of  Louisiane  [Louisiana]  to  this 
great  Discovery,  heing  persuaded  that  your  Majesty 
would  not  disapprove  that  a  part  of  the  earth  watered  by 
a  river  more  than  eight  hundred  leagues  in  length,  and 
much  greater  than  Europe,  which  we  may  call  the  De- 
light of  America,  and  which  is  capable  of  forming  a  great 
Empire,  should  henceforth  be  known  under  the  august 
name  of  Louis,  that  it  may  thereby  have  some  show 
of  right  to  aspire  to  the  honor  of  your  protection,  and 
hope  for  the  advantage  of  belonging  to  you."  The 
author  adds  that  the  Indians  call  the  sun  "  Louis  "  in 
their  language,  and  that  God  had  destined  the  King  to 
be  the  master  of  the  new  country.  About  this  assertion 
Parkman  says:  "  The  Yankton  band  of  this  people 
(the  Sioux),  however,  call  the  sun  oouee,  which,  it  is  evi- 
dent, represents  the  French  pronunciation  of  Louis,  omit- 
ting the  initial  letter." 

With  regard  to  the  name  Louisiane  mentioned  by 
Hennepin,  we  find  it  for  the  first  time  in  Margry's  "  Ori- 
gines  francaises  des  Pays  d'Outre  Mer,"  page  21,  Vol.  II, 
in  a  grant  of  an  island  to  Francois  Daupin,  signed  by 
La  Salle,  June  10,  1679:  "  in  a  year  from  the  day  of  our 
return  from  the  voyage  which  we  are  going  to  make  for 
the  discovery  of  Louisiane  {pour  la  descouverte  de  la 
Louisiane) ." 

As  we  have  already  said,  Hennepin's  "  Description  " 
is  important,  but  in  1697  another  work  was  published, 
dedicated  to  King  William  III  of  England,  in  which 

22  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [isso 

Hennepin  declared  that  he  had  discovered  the  mouth  of 
the  Mississippi  before  La  Salle.  The  title  of  the  book 
is:  "  Nouvelle  Decouverte  d'un  tres  grand  pays  situe  dans 
l'Amerique  "  (Utrecht).  In  a  third  work,  "  Nouveau 
Voyage  d'un  pays  plus  grand  que  l'Europe  "  (Utrecht, 
1698),  the  claim  made  in  the  second  work  is  repeated. 
This  is  evidently  a  falsehood,  but  in  justice  to  Hennepin 
it  must  be  said  that  it  is  maintained  by  Gilmary  Shea,  in 
his  scholarly  edition  of  "  Description  of  Louisiana,"  that 
the  Recollet  monk  should  be  exonerated  from  inten- 
tional plagiarism  and  falsehood.  According  to  Shea,  the 
Dutch  publishers  of  Hennepin's  work  interpolated  in  the 
book,  without  his  knowledge,  the  account  of  La  Salle's 
journey  in  1682  to  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  to  be 
found  in  Le  Clercq's  "  Etablissement  de  la  Foi,"  an  ac- 
count written  by  Zenobe  Membre  and  Anastase  Douay, 
two  of  La  Salle's  companions. 

We  left  La  Salle  on  his  journey  from  Fort  Crevecceur 
to  Fort  Frontenac.  It  required  sixty-five  days  of  hard- 
ship to  reach  his  destination,  and  on  arriving  at  Fort 
Frontenac  he  received  a  letter  from  Tonty  announcing 
the  mutiny  and  desertion  of  most  of  the  men  at  Fort 
Crevecceur.  La  Salle  succeeded  in  intercepting  and 
punishing  some  of  the  deserters,  and  then  set  out  to  meet 

During  La  Salle's  absence  the  Iroquois  invaded  the 
country  of  the  Illinois,  and  nearly  destroyed  that  tribe. 
Tonty  tried  to  protect  the  Illinois,  and  came  near  being 
killed  by  the  Iroquois.  One  of  his  companions,  old  Fa- 
ther Ribourde,  was  murdered,  and  Tonty,  with  Father 

ism]       MOUTH  OF   THE   MISSISSIPPI         23 

Zenobe  Membre,  Boisrondet,  and  two  men,  managed  to 
escape,  after  many  adventures.  La  Salle  made  an  alli- 
ance with  tbe  Miamis  and  other  tribes,  met  Tonty  at 
Michilimackinac,  and  returned  with  him  to  Fort  Fron- 
tenac  to  obtain  the  means  to  undertake,  for  the  third  time, 
to  descend  the  Mississippi  to  its  mouth. 

La  Salle's  party  consisted  of  twenty-three  Frenchmen, 
eighteen  Indians,  ten  squaws,  and  three  Indian  children. 
They  dragged  their  canoes  from  the  Chicago  to  the  Illi- 
nois River,  and  after  reaching  Lake  Peoria  they  floated 
down  the  Illinois,  and  on  February  6,  1682,  they  entered 
the  Mississippi.  On  February  24  they  encamped  near 
the  Third  Chickasaw  Bluffs,  and  there  Pierre  Prud- 
homme,  having  gone  out  hunting,  was  lost  for  ten  days. 
La  Salle  gave  to  the  fort  he  built  at  that  place  the  name 
of  the  unlucky  hunter.  On  March  14  he  took  possession, 
in  the  King's  name,  of  the  country  of  the  Arkansas,  with 
the  "  consent  "  of  the  Indians. 

The  explorers  continued  their  journey  without  further 
mishap,  making  friends  of  the  Indians  who  lived  on  the 
banks  of  the  river  and  who  belonged  to  the  tribes  of  the 
Arkansas,  the  Tensas,  the  Natchez,  the  Coroas,  the  Ou- 
mas,  and  the  Quinipissas.  At  length,  on  April  6,  1682, 
La  Salle  reached  three  channels,  into  which  the  river  di- 
vided itself,  and,  following  the  western  channel,  he  sent 
some  of  his  men  by  the  other  two.  They  soon  arrived  at 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  and  there,  on  April  9,  La  Salle  took 
possession  of  the  country,  which  he  had  already  called 
Louisiana,  in  the  name  of  Louis  XIV.  The  following 
official  account  was  drawn  up  by  the  notary  of  Fort  Fron- 

24  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [uses 

tenac,  a  member  of  the  expedition,  Jacques  de  la  Me- 
tairie : s 

At  about  the  twenty-seventh  degree  of  elevation  from  the  pole, 
a  column  and  a  cross  were  prepared,  and  on  the  column  were 
painted  the  arms  of  France  with  this  inscription :  "  Louis  le 
Grand,  Roy  de  France  et  de  Navarre,  regne  le  9e  Avril,  1682." 
All  being  under  arms,  they  chanted  the  Te  Dcum,  the  Exaudiat, 
and  the  Dom'rne,  salvum  fac  Re  gem;  then,  after  volleys  of  mus- 
ketry and  shouts  of  "  Vive  le  Roy,"  M.  de  La  Salle  planted  the 
column,  and,  standing  near  it,  said  in  a  loud  voice  in  French : 

"  In  the  name  of  the  most  high,  mighty,  invincible,  and  vic- 
torious Prince,  Louis  the  Great,  by  the  Grace  of  God  King  of 
France  and  of  Navarre,  Fourteenth  of  that  name,  I,  this  ninth 
day  of  April,  one  thousand  six  hundred  and  eighty-two,  in  virtue 
of  the  commission  of  his  Majesty,  which  I  hold  in  my  hand,  and 
which  may  be  seen  by  all  whom  it  may  concern,  have  taken  and 
do  now  take,  in  the  name  of  his  Majesty  and  of  his  successors  to 
the  crown,  possession  of  this  country  of  Louisiana,  the  seas,  har- 
bors, towns,  villages,  mines,  minerals,  fisheries,  streams,  and  rivers, 
within  the  extent  of  the  said  Louisiana,  from  the  mouth  of  the 
great  river  St.  Louis,  otherwise  called  the  Ohio,  Olighinsipou  or 
Chukagoua,  and  this  with  the  consent  of  the  Chaouesnons,  Chi- 
cachas,  and  other  peoples  residing  there  with  which  we  have 
made  alliance,  as  also  along  the  river  Colbert,  or  Mississippi,  and 
the  rivers  which  discharge  themselves  thereinto,  from  its  source 
beyond  the  country  of  the  Nadouessioux,  and  this  with  their  con- 
sent and  of  the  Ototantas,  Islinois,  Matsigames,  Akansas,  Nat- 
chez, Koroas,  who  are  the  most  considerable  nations  that  reside 
there,  with  which  we  have  made  alliance  by  ourselves  or  through 
persons  in  our  name,  as  far  as  its  mouth  at  the  sea,  or  Gulf  of 
Mexico,  and  also  to  the  mouth  of  the  River  of  Palms,  upon  the 
assurance  we  have  had  from  the  natives  of  these  countries,  that 
we  are  the  first  Europeans  who  have  descended  or  ascended  the 


said  river  Colbert;  hereby  protesting  against  all  who  may  here- 
after undertake  to  invade  any  or  all  of  these  aforesaid  countries, 
peoples,  or  lands,  to  the  prejudice  of  the  rights  of  his  Majesty, 
acquired  by  the  consent  of  the  nations  dwelling  herein.  Of  which, 
and  of  all  else  that  is  needful,  I  hereby  take  to  witness  those  who 
hear  me,  and  demand  an  act  of  the  notary  here  present."  A  cross 
was  planted,  and  a  leaden  plate  was  buried  near  it,  bearing  the 
arms  of  France  on  one  side  and  a  Latin  inscription:  Ludovicus 
Magnus  rcgnat  nemo  Aprilis  168%;  and  on  the  other:  Robertus 
Cavelier,  cum  domino  dc  Tonty,  legato,  R.  P.  Zenobio  Membre, 
Recollecto,  et  Viginti  Gallis,  primus  hoc  flumen  inde  ab  Ilineomvm 
pago  enavigavit,  ejusque  ostium  fecit  pervium  nono  Aprilis  anni 
1682.  The  Vexilla  and  the  Domine,  salvum  fac  Regem  were  sung 
in  front  of  the  cross,  and  the  ceremony  ended  with  shouts  of 
"  Vive  le  Roy ! "  The  signers  of  the  act  were :  De  La  Salle,  F. 
Zenobe,  Recollect  missionnaire,  Henry  de  Tonty,  Francois  de  Bois- 
rondet,  Jean  Bourdon,  sieur  d'Autray,  Jacques  Cavehois,  Gilles 
Meneret,  Jean  Michel,  chirurgien,  Jean  Mas,  Jean  du  Lignon, 
Nicolas  de  La  Salle,  La  Metairie,  notaire. 

Father  Zenobe  Membre,  in  a  letter  from  the  river  Mis- 
sissippi, June  3,  1682,  says:  "  The  great  river  Mississippi 
is  very  beautiful  in  all  places,  without  any  fall  or  rapid 
from  the  Arkansas  to  the  sea.  It  is  full  of  crocodiles ;  its 
inundations  in  the  spring  spoil  all  its  banks.  The  bless- 
ings of  the  earth  come  there  so  happily  that  at  the  end 
of  April  the  Indian  wheat  was  in  bloom  at  the  Coroas, 
and  the  blossoms  as  high  as  poles.  It  is  here  the  country 
of  canes,  laurels,  and  palms ;  there  is  an  infinity  of  mul- 
berry trees,  of  which  we  eat  the  fruit  every  day  from  the 
beginning  of  May.    In  fifty  days  the  wheat  ripens." 

The  great  explorer  had  succeeded  in  his  efforts  and  had 
descended  the  mighty  Mississippi  to  its  mouth.    He  now 

26  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [i68* 

wished  to  colonize  Louisiana,  named  for  the  stately  mon- 
arch at  Versailles.  In  order  to  strengthen  his  position  in 
the  north,  after  his  return  from  the  mouth  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, he  established  among  the  Illinois  a  colony  of 
Indians,  which  he  called  Fort  St.  Louis.  He  was  very  suc- 
cessful in  this  enterprise,  but  his  patron,  Count  Fron- 
tenac,  was  recalled  to  France,  and  his  successor,  Le 
Febvre  de  la  Barre,  was  not  friendly  to  La  Salle  and  dis- 
possessed him  of  Fort  St.  Louis.  La  Salle,  therefore, 
went  to  France  to  obtain  justice  from  the  King,  and  to 
present  his  plan  for  establishing  a  colony  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Mississippi  and  for  conquering  the  province  of 
New  Biscay  in  Mexico. 

The  explorer  had  an  interview  with  Louis  XIV  him- 
self, and  his  plans  were  favorably  received  both  by  the 
King  and  by  his  minister  Seignelay,  the  distinguished 
son  of  Colbert.  La  Salle  was  authorized  to  form  a  set- 
tlement at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  and  La  Barre 
was  ordered  to  surrender  all  that  belonged  to  the  explorer. 
Four  vessels  were  given  to  him,  and  he  took  with  him  sol- 
diers, mechanics,  laborers,  volunteers,  several  families,  and 
a  number  of  girls.  He  had  also  his  brother  Cavelier,  who 
was  a  Sulpitian  priest,  two  other  priests  of  that  order, 
three  Recollet  friars,  Zenobe  Membre  his  former  compan- 
ion, Anastase  Douay,  Joutel,  and  Maxime  Le  Clercq. 
Unfortunately,  the  command  of  the  expedition  was  di- 
vided: Beaujeu  was  to  direct  the  vessels,  and  La  Salle  to 
direct  the  route  and  command  the  men  on  land.  As  is 
usually  the  case,  the  two  commanders  did  not  agree. 

The  ships  sailed  from  La  Rochelle  on  July  24,  1684, 

1685]         FORT   ST.  LOUIS   OF   TEXAS  27 

and  reached  Santo  Domingo  after  a  voyage  of  two 
months.  On  the  island  La  Salle  was  very  ill,  and  when 
he  resumed  his  journey  he  appeared  to  have  hecome  irri- 
table and  to  distrust  Beaujeu.  The  ships  entered  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico,  but  passed  by  the  mouth  of  the  Missis- 
sippi and  went  to  the  coast  of  what  is  now  Texas.  La 
Salle  mistook  the  entrance  of  Matagorda  Bay  for  one 
of  the  mouths  of  the  Mississippi,  and  resolved  to  establish 
his  colony  there.  One  of  his  vessels,  the  Aimable,  was 
wrecked,  laden  with  the  stores  of  the  colony,  and  Beaujeu 
returned  to  France  on  the  Joly.  Shortly  after  the  de- 
parture of  the  Joly,  La  Salle  discovered  that  he  was  not 
at  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi.  He  did  not  lose  courage, 
however,  but  built  a  fort,  which  he  called  St.  Louis,  and 
set  out  on  an  expedition  to  find  the  "  fatal  river."  In  his 
absence  he  gave  the  command  of  the  fort  to  Joutel,  the 
historian  of  the  expedition  and  his  most  trusty  follower. 
La  Salle  was  absent  several  months,  and  was  unsuccess- 
ful in  his  search.  Shortly  after  his  return  his  only  remain- 
ing vessel,  the  Belle,  was  wrecked.  There  was  now  no 
way  of  reaching  the  Mississippi  by  sea,  and  La  Salle 
formed  the  bold  plan  of  going  to  Canada  to  get  help  for 
his  colony.  He  departed  with  sixteen  followers,  among 
whom  were  his  faithful  Joutel,  his  brother  Cavelier,  their 
nephews  Moranget  and  young  Cavelier,  the  friar  Anas- 
tase  Douay,  Duhaut,  the  surgeon  Liotot,  the  German 
Hiens,  the  pilot  Teissier,  Duhaut's  servant,  and  Nika,  La 
Salle's  Indian  hunter. 

It  appears  that  the  great  explorer  was  a  stern  com- 
mander, not  knowing  how  to  make  himself  popular  with 

28  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [i<»t 

men  who  could  not  understand  his  indomitable  energy 
and  courage.  Moranget,  his  nephew,  was  violent  and 
rash  and  offended  Duhaut.  The  latter  made  a  plot  with 
Hiens,  Teissier,  and  Larcheveque,  and  when  they  were 
sent  to  get  some  food  they  murdered  in  their  sleep  Mo- 
ranget, Nika  the  hunter,  and  Saget,  La  Salle's  servant. 
The  commander,  not  seeing  Moranget  return,  went  with 
Father  Anastase  Douay  and  an  Indian  to  look  for  his 
nephew.  He  met  Duhaut,  who  spoke  to  him  with  inso- 
lence, and  as  La  Salle  advanced  to  chastise  him  a  shot  was 
fired  and  La  Salle  was  killed.  Thus  died,  on  March  18, 
1687,  one  of  the  most  remarkable  men  that  history  pre- 
sents to  us,  one  whose  labors,  though  apparently  unsuc- 
cessful, rendered  possible  the  settlement  of  Louisiana. 

Nearly  all  the  murderers  of  La  Salle  were  killed  in 
their  turn,  some  by  their  accomplices,  others  by  the 
Indians.  Cavelier  and  his  young  nephew,  Joutel,  and 
Anastase  Douay  succeeded  in  reaching  Fort  St.  Louis 
of  the  Illinois.  Tonty,  the  chivalric  and  devoted 
companion  of  La  Salle,  had  descended,  in  1685,  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Mississippi  to  meet  his  chief,  and,  not  find- 
ing him,  left  a  letter  for  him  and  returned  to  the  Illinois. 
We  shall  see  him  again  in  Louisiana  with  Iberville,  when 
that  gallant  Canadian  has  succeeded,  in  1699,  in  effect- 
ing a  settlement  in  the  country  explored  and  named  by  La 
Salle.  As  to  the  latter's  colony  at  Fort  St.  Louis  of 
Texas,  it  was  destroyed  by  the  Indians.  Tonty  tried  to 
rescue  the  colonists,  but  could  not  reach  the  fort,  and  the 
Spaniards  from  Mexico,  having  made  an  expedition  to 
dislodge  the  French,  found  at  La  Salle's  Fort  St.  Louis 

K>  *  f 

1687]       DESTRUCTION   OF   THE  FORT  29 

no  human  beings.  A  few  of  the  unfortunates  were  dis- 
covered among  the  Indians,  and  were  rescued  by  the 
Spaniards.  Iberville  and  Bienville  are  the  founders  of 
Louisiana,  but  we  should  always  remember  in  our  history 
the  name  of  the  heroic  explorer,  Robert  Cavelier  de  La 


The  Settlement  of  Louisiana 


The  condition  of  France  from  1687  to  the  treaty  of  Ryswick — Maurepas 
chooses  Iberville  for  the  Louisiana  expedition — The  sons  of  Charles  Le 
Moyne — Names  of  Le  Moyne's  children— Joutel's  "  Relation  "—Father  Anas- 
tase  Douay — Iberville  arrives  at  Ship  Island  in  February,  1699— Recep- 
tion of  Iberville  by  the  Indians — The  first  fort  at  Biloxi — Iberville  finds  the 
mouth  of  the  Mississippi — Exploration  of  the  river — Origin  of  name  Baton 
Rouge— Pointe  Coupee — Tonty's  letter — Iberville  starts  to  return  to  his 
ships — Iberville  River,  Lakes  Maurepas  and  Pontchartrain,  Bay  St.  Louis 
— Success  of  Iberville's  expedition — Sauvole  the  first  commandant  or  gov- 
ernor of  Louisiana — Visit  of  Bayagoula  chiefs  and  their  squaws — The 
"English  Turn" — Return  of  Iberville— Fort  on  the  Mississippi— Fort  Ro- 
salie—Le  Sueur's  "blue  and  green  earth" — Bienville's  journey  to  the 
northwest — Death  of  Sauvole — Bienville  in  command — Iberville's  last 
voyage  to  Louisiana — War  of  the  Spanish  Succession — The  seat  of  the 
colony  removed  from  Biloxi — Fort  Louis  de  la  Mobile— Commissary  de 
La  Salle— Curate  de  la  Vente — Death  of  Iberville. 

ROM  La  Salle's  death  in  1687, 
several  years  elapsed  before  another 
attempt  was  made  to  explore  and 
colonize  Louisiana,  and  the  only 
white  men  to  be  seen  in  the  vast  coun- 
try watered  by  the  Mississippi  were 
bold  adventurers,  coureurs  de  bois, 
who  traded  with  the  Indians  and  led  their  wild  life,  and 
devoted  missionaries  ever  ready  to  endure  all  hardships  in 
order  to  convert  the  Indians  to  the  religion  of  Christ. 
The  condition  of  France,  shortly  after  the  failure  of 


1697]  THE  TREATY  OF  RYSWICK  31 

La  Salle's  colony,  was  not  favorable  for  another  colonial 
expedition.  In  1688  James  II  of  England  was  over- 
thrown, and  Louis  XIV  received  him  in  a  regal  man- 
ner. The  French  monarch  assigned  to  the  dethroned 
Stuart  as  his  residence  St.  Germain-en-Laye,  the  beau- 
tiful castle  of  Francis  I,  and  gave  him  an  army,  that 
he  might  reconquer  his  kingdom.  James  was  defeated 
at  the  Boyne,  and  William  of  Orange,  the  implacable 
enemy  of  Louis,  organized  a  coalition  in  Europe  against 
France.  The  great  admiral  Tourville  was  vanquished 
at  La  Hogue;  but  on  the  Continent  Luxembourg  and 
Catinat  were  victorious,  as  formerly  Conde  and  Tu- 
renne.  Louis  XIV,  although  victorious,  signed  in  1697 
the  treaty  of  Ryswick,  by  which  he  recognized  William 
III  as  King  of  England.  He  consented  to  this  peace, 
humiliating  to  his  pride,  because  he  saw  that  Charles  II 
of  Spain  was  dying,  and  he  wished  to  be  prepared  to  take 
possession  of  the  immense  succession  of  the  last  Spanish 
monarch  of  the  house  of  Austria. 

Colbert  and  his  son  Seignelay  were  both  dead,  and  in 
1697  the  minister  of  marine  was  Louis  de  Phelypeaux, 
Count  de  Pontchartrain,  with  whom  was  associated  his 
son  Jerome,  Count  de  Maurepas,  who  became  minister 
of  marine  in  1699.  In  1694  Henri  de  Tonty,  the  faithful 
companion  of  La  Salle,  offered  his  services  to  continue 
the  undertaking  of  the  latter  in  order  to  forestall  the 
English.  The  Sieur  de  Remonville,  in  1697,  proposed  the 
formation  of  a  company  to  colonize  Louisiana.  Jerome 
Pontchartrain  (Maurepas),  however,  says  Margry,1 
"  thought  that  land  officers  could  not  fulfil  properly  a 

32  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [i«» 

mission  for  which  maritime  knowledge  was  necessary." 
He  chose,  therefore,  in  1G98,  for  the  Louisiana  expedi- 
tion, a  brilliant  marine  officer,  Pierre  Le  Moyne  dTber- 
ville,  a  Canadian  by  birth,  of  whom  one  of  the  directors 
of  the  Hudson  Bay  Company  had  said  that  "  he  was  as 
military  as  his  sword."  Iberville  had  lately  distinguished 
himself  in  Hudson  Bay,  where,  with  one  vessel,  he  fought 
against  three  English  ships,  sinking  one,  capturing  the 
second,  and  putting  the  third  to  flight.  Jerome  Pont- 
chartrain  summoned  him  to  the  court  at  Versailles  and 
intrusted  him  with  the  task  of  re-discovering  the  Mis- 

Iberville  was  the  third  son  of  Charles  Le  Moyne,  a 
native  of  Dieppe,  who  had  emigrated  to  Canada  at  the 
age  of  fourteen,  and  in  1676  had  become  Sieur  de  Lon- 
gueil.  His  wife  was  Catherine  Primot.  Charles  Le 
Moyne's  family  may  be  compared  with  that  of  the 
Norman  nobleman  of  the  eleventh  century,  Tancrede 
de  Hauteville.  They  each  had  sons  who  were  intrepid 
warriors  and  wise  men.  Those  of  the  Sieur  de  Haute- 
ville were  not  more  heroic  than  the  sons  of  the  Sieur 
de  Longueil.  The  former  founded  principalities  and 
kingdoms  in  Italy  and  in  the  Orient,  and  we  see  in  his- 
tory and  in  romance  the  names  of  Robert  Guiscard  and 
his  son  Bohemond  of  Tarentum,  of  Roger  of  Sicily,  and 
of  Tasso's  perfect  knight,  Tancred,  who  won  the  love 
of  the  fair  and  heroic  Clorinda  and  then  slew  her  in 
combat  without  knowing  her.  The  Canadian  brothers, 
of  whom  nine  were  distinguished,  were  of  Norman  blood, 
and,  like  William  who  defeated  Harold  the  Saxon  and 



conquered  England,  they  were  both  warriors  and  states- 
men. Three  of  them  were  killed  righting  for  their  King, 
and  two  were  to  be  the  founders  of  Louisiana.  No  names 
are  more  important  in  our  history  than  those  of  Iberville 
and  Bienville,  sons  of  Charles  Le  Moyne. 

Charles  Le  Moyne  and  Catherine  Primot  had  four- 
teen children,2  as  follows:  Charles,  Sieur  de  Longueil; 
Jacques,  Sieur  de  Sainte-Helene;  Pierre,  Sieur  d'lber- 
ville;  Paul,  Sieur  de  Maricourt;  Francois,  Sieur  de  Bien- 
ville I;  Joseph,  Sieur  de  Serigny;  Louis,  Sieur  de  Cha- 
teauguay  I;  Jean-Baptiste,  Sieur  de  Bienville  II;  An- 
toine,  Sieur  de  Chateauguay  II;  Francois-Marie,  Sieur 
de  Sauvole;  Catherine- Jeanne ;  Marie-Anne;  Gabriel, 
and  a  child  who  died  on  the  day  of  his  birth. 

Pierre  Le  Moyne,  Sieur  d'Iberville,  was  born  at  Ville- 
marie  (Montreal)  on  July  16,  1661.  The  biographers 
of  his  family  call  him  "  the  greatest  warrior  that  Canada 
has  produced."  He  died  on  July  9,  1706,  and  left  a  son 
and  a  daughter.  His  widow  married  in  France  M.  de 
Bethune,  lieutenant-general  in  the  armies  of  the  King. 
Jean-Baptiste  Le  Moyne,  Sieur  de  Bienville  II,  was  born 
at  Villemarie  (Montreal)  on  February  23,  1680,  and 
died  in  Paris  on  March  7,  1768.  Jacques,  Sieur  de 
Sainte-Helene,  was  killed  at  the  siege  of  Quebec  in  1690. 
Francois,  Sieur  de  Bienville  I,  was  killed  at  Repentigny 
in  1691.  Sauvole  was  killed  by  the  savages  in  1687.'! 
Paul,  Sieur  de  Maricourt,  distinguished  himself  with 
Iberville  in  Hudson  Bay;  he  was  employed  several  times 
upon  important  missions  to  the  Iroquois,  and  was  known 
among  them  under  the  symbolic  name  of  Taouistaouisse,4 

34  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [\<m 

or  "  little  bird  that  is  always  in  motion."  Joseph,  Sieur 
de  Serigny,  became  a  captain  in  the  royal  navy  and  dis- 
tinguished himself  in  Louisiana.  He  died  Governor  of 
Rochefort  in  1723.  Louis,  Sieur  de  Chateauguay  (or 
Chateaugue)  I,  was  killed  in  1694,  fighting  by  the  side 
of  Iberville.  Antoine,  Sieur  de  Chateauguay  II,  aided 
Bienville  in  the  colonization  of  Louisiana.  He  served 
afterward  at  Martinique,  was  Governor  of  Cayenne  from 
1737  to  1744,  Governor  of  He  Royale  in  1745,  and  died 
at  Rochefort  in  1747.  Catherine  Jeanne  married  Pierre 
Payen,  Seigneur  de  Noyan.  Marie- Anne  married  the 
Sieur  de  la  Chassaigne.  Several  of  the  nephews  of  Bien- 
ville served  in  Louisiana:  Sainte-Helene,  who  was  killed 
by  the  savages,  the  Baron  de  Longueil,  and  several  Noy- 
ans,  among  whom  was  one  of  the  "  martyrs  "  of  the  Revo- 
lution of  1768. 

Pontchartrain  was  desirous  that  Joutel,  who  was  then 
living  at  Rouen,  should  accompany  Iberville  on  his  voy- 
age; but  the  historian  of  La  Salle's  last  expedition  did 
not  wish  to  run  the  risk  of  another  exploration.  His 
"  Relation,"  however,  was  sent  to  Iberville  by  Pontchar- 
train, and  Father  Anastase  Douay  was  induced  to  join 
the  expedition.  He  had  been  a  companion  of  La  Salle  in 
his  journey  to  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  and  in  the  ill- 
fated  expedition  of  1684.  He  had  been  more  fortunate 
than  Father  Zenobe  Membre,  who  perished  at  Fort  St. 
Louis  of  Texas. 

Iberville's  fleet  sailed  from  Brest  on  October  24, 1698; 
it  consisted  of  two  small  frigates — the  Badine,  com- 
manded by  Iberville  himself,  and  the  Marin,  commanded 



by  the  Chevalier  de  Surgeres — and  two  store-ships.  At 
Santo  Domingo  the  Marquis  de  Chateaumorant,  comman- 
der of  the  war-ship  Francois,  a  nephew  of  the  great  Tour- 
ville,  joined  the  expedition  and  accompanied  it  to  its  desti- 
nation. Iberville  took  as  pilot  Lawrence  de  Graaf,  a 
celebrated  buccaneer,  and  on  January  25,  1699,  anchored 
before  the  island  of  St.  Rosa.  On  the  mainland  the  Span- 
iards had  formed  a  settlement  at  Pensacola,  and  the  com- 
mander did  not  allow  the  French  to  enter  the  harbor. 
They  sailed,  therefore,  to  Mobile  Bay,  and  explored  an 
island  on  which  they  found  a  heap  of  human  bones,  which 
they  called  Massacre  Island.  The  ships  proceeded  to  the 
Chandeleur  Island;  then  a  pass  was  found  between  Cat 
Island  and  Ship  Island,  and  there  they  cast  anchor.  On 
February  13,  1699,5  Iberville  and  his  brother  Bienville 
went  to  the  mainland,  where,  an  old  man  and  a  squaw  hav- 
ing been  well  treated  by  the  French,  the  Indians  were 
persuaded  to  meet  them.  The  savages,  who  were  Biloxis, 
were  delighted  with  the  treatment  they  received  from  the 
white  men.  "  Iberville  took  to  his  ship  four  of  these  sav- 
ages, and  left  his  brother  on  land  as  a  hostage.  The  same 
evening  eighty  Bayagoulas  arrived  at  that  coast,  going 
to  make  war  against  the  Mobilians.  All  that  could  be 
learned  from  this  nation  was  that  they  were  established 
on  the  banks  of  a  large  river,  which  they  showed  toward 
the  west."  6 

Penicaut,  the  carpenter,  who  has  left  us  an  interesting 
narrative  of  the  events  that  took  place  in  Louisiana  dur- 
ing his  stay  there,  says  that,  after  a  fort  had  been  built 
at  Biloxi,  several  chiefs  came  to  see  Iberville  and  honored 

36  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [m9 

him  greatly.  They  presented  the  calumet  for  him  to 
smoke,  then  they  rubbed  his  face  with  white  earth.  For 
three  days  they  danced  and  sang  three  times  a  day.  On 
the  third  day  they  planted  a  post  before  the  fort,  and  went 
to  get  Iberville.  One  of  the  Indians  took  him  on  his  back, 
while  another  held  up  his  feet,  and  they  carried  him  to  the 
post  to  the  sound  of  their  chichicois.  These  were  gourds 
filled  with  pebbles,  with  which  a  strange  noise  was  pro- 
duced. The  commander  was  placed  on  a  deerskin,  and 
a  chief  put  his  hands  on  his  shoulders  from  behind  and 
rocked  him  as  if  he  were  a  baby  going  to  sleep.  Then 
the  savages  struck  the  post  one  after  another  with  a 
wooden  hatchet,  relating  each  time  their  heroic  deeds, — 
and  "  even  more,"  adds  Penicaut.  Presents  were  given 
to  them,  and  they  were  much  astonished  at  the  noise  made 
by  the  firing  of  the  guns. 

The  first  fort  built  by  Iberville  was  on  the  northeast 
side  of  the  bay  of  Biloxi,7  a  little  to  the  rear  of  what  is 
now  Ocean  Springs.  The  place  is  less  exposed  to  storms 
than  the  land  fronting  on  the  Sound.  Although  the 
French  arrived  at  Biloxi  on  February  13,8  they  must  have 
been  delighted  with  the  appearance  of  the  place.  On 
landing  from  their  boats  they  stepped  on  sand  as  white 
as  silver,  over  which  rolled  gently  the  blue  waves  of  the 
Gulf ;  before  them  were  spread  as  a  curtain  the  tall  pine- 
trees,  among  which  were  seen  majestic  live-oaks  and 
splendid  magnolias,  while  birds  of  all  colors  chirped  and 
sang  incessantly  amid  the  boughs.  Not  far  from  the 
coast  they  saw  Deer  Island,  and  in  their  boats  they  passed 
between  the  island  and  the  shore,  and  on  turning  the 

1699]  BILOXI  37 

point  they  soon  reached  the  heautiful  bay  of  Biloxi. 
The  site  chosen  by  Iberville  for  his  fort  was  certainly 
charming,  but  he  made  a  mistake  in  trying  to  establish 
his  colony  on  a  land  distant  from  any  large  river,  and 
which  proved  to  be  stei'ile. 

The  Marquis  de  Chateaumorant  took  leave  of  Iberville 
on  February  21,  1699,  and  on  February  27  the  latter 
set  out  with  two  rowboats  and  two  birch  canoes  in  search 
of  the  large  and  fatal  river,  the  Palissada  of  the  Span- 
iards, the  Malbanchya  of  the  Indians  on  the  Gulf  coast. 
Iberville  was  accompanied  by  the  Sieur  de  Sauvole,  his 
brother  Bienville,  Father  Anastase  Douay,  and  forty- 
eight  men,  with  provisions  for  twenty  days.  They  sailed 
until  March  2,  and  on  that  day  the  mouth  of  the  great 
Mississippi  was  re-discovered.  He  endeavored  to  double 
a  point  of  rocks,  "  but,"  says  Iberville,9  "  night  coming, 
and  bad  weather  continuing,  so  that  it  was  impossible  to 
resist  without  going  to  the  coast  or  perishing  at  sea,  I  bore 
on  the  rocks,  to  reach  the  coast  in  the  daytime,  in  order  to 
be  able  to  save  my  people  and  my  boats.  On  approaching 
these  rocks  to  seek  a  shelter,  I  perceived  there  was  a  river. 
I  passed  between  two  of  these  rocks,  there  being  twelve 
feet  of  water,  with  a  very  heavy  sea,  where,  on  approach- 
ing the  rocks,  I  found  sweet  water  with  a  very  strong 
current.  These  rocks  are  of  wood  petrified  with  mud,  and 
have  become  black  rocks,  which  resist  the  sea.  They  are 
innumerable,  out  of  water,  some  large,  some  small,  at 
a  distance  from  one  another  of  twenty  steps,  one  hundred, 
three  hundred,  five  hundred,  more  or  less,  running  to  the 
southwest,  which  has  made  me  know  that  it  was  the  Palis- 



sada  River,  which  seemed  to  me  well  named,  for,  being 
at  its  mouth,  which  is  a  league  and  a  half  from  these  rocks, 
it  appeared  all  barred  by  rocks.  At  its  entrance  there  are 
only  twelve  to  fifteen  feet  of  water,  by  which  I  passed, 
which  seemed  to  me  one  of  the  best  passes,  where  the 
sea  broke  the  least.  Between  the  two  points  of  the  river 
I  found  ten  fathoms,  the  river  being  three  hundred  and 
fifty  fathoms  wide,  the  current  one  league  and  a  third 
an  hour,  the  water  all  muddy  and  very  white.  Lying  on 
these  reeds  we  felt,  sheltered  from  the  bad  weather,  the 
pleasure  of  seeing  ourselves  protected  from  an  evident 

The  "  muddy  and  very  white  water  "  seemed  to  indi- 
cate that  it  was  the  long-sought  Mississippi,  and  the 
French  began  to  go  up  the  river  on  March  3,  Shrove 
Tuesday ;  for  which  reason  Iberville  named  a  point  twelve 
leagues  from  the  mouth  of  the  stream  "  Mardi  Gras." 
The  first  Indians  they  met  belonged  to  the  tribes  of  the 
Bayagoulas  and  Mongoulachas,  and  the  chief  of  the  lat- 
ter wore  a  cloak  of  blue  serge,  which  he  said  was  pre- 
sented to  him  by  Tonty.  On  his  way  up  the  river,  Iber- 
ville pitched  his  camp  on  the  site  of  the  present  city  of 
New  Orleans,  at  a  place  where  the  Indians  told  him  that, 
at  a  short  distance  from  the  river,  a  bayou  (rivulet)  ran 
into  a  lake.  On  arriving  at  the  village  of  the  Baya- 
goulas, Iberville  thought  he  should  find  a  fork  which 
would  lead  him  from  the  river  to  the  Gulf,  but  the  natives 
told  him  they  knew  of  no  other  communication  on  the  left 
bank  but  a  small  stream  called  Ascantia,now  Bayou  Iber- 
ville or  Manchac.    This  they  saw  a  little  farther;  it  sepa- 


THE  NAME  "  BATON  ROUGE"    39 

rated  the  hunting-grounds  of  the  Bayagoulas  from  those 
of  the  Oumas.  "  There  are  on  the  hank,"  says  Iberville, 
"  many  cabins  covered  with  palmetto  leaves,  and  a  May- 
pole without  branches,  reddened  with  several  heads  of  fish 
and  of  bears  attached  as  a  sacrifice."  This  red  pole 
(baton  rouge)  is  said  to  have  given  its  name  to  the 
present  capital  of  Louisiana,  but  Penicaut,  in  his  "  Rela- 
tion," 10  gives  a  different  account:  "  From  there  we  went 
up  five  leagues,  where  we  found  very  high  banks,  which 
are  called  in  that  country  bluffs  (Ecores),  and  in  the 
language  of  the  savages  Istrouma,  which  signifies  Baton 
Rouge,  because  there  is  at  that  place  a  post  painted  red, 
which  the  savages  had  planted  to  mark  the  separation 
of  the  lands  of  two  nations — the  Bayagoulas,  whence  we 
had  come,  and  another  thirty  leagues  above  Baton  Rouge, 
called  the  Oumas.  These  two  nations  were  so  jealous  of 
their  hunting-grounds  that  they  shot  at  those  of  their 
neighbors  whom  they  found  hunting  beyond  the  limits 
marked  by  this  red  post." 

The  French  next  came  to  a  bend,  where  Iberville  no- 
ticed a  small  outlet  obstructed  with  trees.  These  were 
cleared,  and  the  barges  soon  reached  the  river  again,  eigh- 
teen miles  above  the  point  where  the  outlet  had  been  seen. 
The  Mississippi  gradually  adopted  this  outlet  as  its  bed, 
and  later  the  place  was  called  Pointe  Coupee.  The  ex- 
plorers reached  soon  afterward  a  large  bend,  supposed  to 
be  the  one  now  opposite  the  mouth  of  Red  River,  and  ar- 
rived at  the  village  of  the  Oumas,  where  they  were  most 
hospitably  received.  There  Iberville  learned  from  the 
Bayagoulas  that  Tonty  had  left  a  letter  with  the  chief 

40  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [lew 

of  the  Mongoulachas,  which  tribe  was  called  formerly  the 
Quinipissas.  The  French  commander  proceeded  only  a 
little  farther.  He  ordered  Sauvole  and  Bienville  to  de- 
scend the  Mississippi  to  its  mouth,  and  to  obtain  Tonty's 
letter  from  the  Mongoulachas.  This  was  done.  The 
letter  was  dated  from  the  village  of  the  Quinipissas,  April 
20,  1685,  and  was  written  by  Tonty  to  his  beloved  chief 
when  the  heroic  Italian  descended  the  river  to  meet  La 
Salle,  on  hearing  of  his  departure  from  France  on  his  last 
expedition.  In  his  "  Journal  "  Iberville  gives  the  follow- 
ing interesting  extract  from  Tonty's  letter  to  La  Salle: 

Sir  :  Having  found  the  post,  where  you  had  raised  the  arms  of 
the  King,  thrown  down  by  the  driftwood,  I  had  another  one  planted 
above,  at  about  seven  leagues  from  the  sea,  and  I  left  a  letter  in 
a  tree  near  by,  in  a  hole  on  the  other  side,  with  a  sign  above.  The 
Quinipissas  having  danced  the  calumet  for  me,  I  left  this  letter 
with  them  to  assure  you  of  my  very  humble  respects,  and  to  let 
you  know  that  at  the  news  which  I  received  at  the  fort,  that  you 
had  lost  a  ship,  and  that  savages  having  pillaged  your  goods, 
you  were  fighting  against  them,  I  came  down  with  twenty-five 
Frenchmen,  five  Chaouanons,  and  five  Illinois.  All  the  natives  have 
danced  the  calumet.  They  are  people  who  fear  us  extremely 
since  you  have  defeated  this  village.  I  end  by  telling  you  that  it 
is  a  great  sorrow  for  me  that  we  should  return  with  the  misfortune 
of  not  having  found  you,  after  two  canoes  have  coasted  along 
Mexico  thirty  leagues,  and  along  the  cape  of  Florida  twenty-five, 
which  have  been  obliged  to  give  up  for  lack  of  water.  Although 
we  have  had  no  news  from  you  or  seen  marks  of  you,  I  do  not 
despair  that  God  will  give  good  success  to  your  affairs  and  your 
enterprise.  I  wish  it  with  all  my  heart,  since  you  have  no  servant 
more  faithful  than  I,  who  would  sacrifice  everything  to  look  for 

i«99]  THE   ASCANTIA   RIVER  41 

On  March  23  Iberville  set  out  to  return  to  his  ships. 
The  Bayagoulas  and  the  Ounias  bade  him  farewell,  and 
the  chief  of  the  latter  and  one  of  his  principal  warriors 
conducted  Iberville  to  his  boat,  holding  him  under  the 
arms,  to  help  him  to  walk,  from  fear  any  accident  might 
happen  to  him  on  their  land.  The  chief  of  the  Bayagou- 
las embarked  with  him,  three  volleys  of  musketry  were 
fired,  and  the  savages  answered  with  cries  of  joy  the 
"  Vive  le  Roi!  "  of  the  French. 

On  March  24  Iberville  entered  the  Ascantia,  named 
later  Iberville,  "  a  river,"  says  he,  "  which  goes  to  Biloxi 
and  to  the  bay  where  are  the  ships."  He  had  two  bark 
canoes,  four  of  his  men,  and  a  Mongoulacha  Indian.  The 
stream  was  very  narrow  and  was  obstructed  with  fallen 
trees,  and  in  two  leagues  there  were  ten  portages.  On 
the  second  day  there  were  fifty  portages,  and  the  French 
reached  a  beautiful  country — level  ground,  fine  trees,  and 
no  wild  cane.  There  were  many  turkeys  in  the  woods, 
and  fish  and  alligators  in  the  rivulet.  The  Mongoulacha 
abandoned  Iberville;  but  the  latter,  although  he  had  no 
guide,  continued  his  journey  instead  of  returning  to  the 
Mississippi.  It  was  a  rather  bold  undertaking,  but  not 
one  that  could  embarrass  the  brave  Canadian  sailor.  He 
said  he  wished  to  show  the  savages  that  he  could  go  wher- 
ever he  pleased  without  a  guide,  and  he  added,  with  char- 
acteristic energy:  "  Whatever  may  happen,  I  shall  always 
reach  the  ships,  were  I  to  go  by  land  and  abandon  my 
canoes  and  make  others."  He  finally  arrived  at  two  lakes, 
which  he  named  respectively  Maurepas  and  Pontchar- 
train.    He  returned  to  Ship  Island  a  little  before  Bien- 

42  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [1699 

ville  and  Sauvole.  On  April  12  he  visited  a  bay,  which  he 
named  St.  Louis ;  but,  having  found  little  water  there,  he 
resolved  to  place  definitely  the  principal  establishment  of 
the  colony  at  the  eastern  extremity  of  the  bay  of  Biloxi. 
On  May  1  he  completed  a  fort  with  four  bastions,  armed 
with  twelve  camion,  and  gave  the  command  of  it  to  Sau- 
vole. He  appointed  his  brother  Bienville  lieutenant 
(second  in  command),  and  Levasseur  Russouelle  major, 
and  left  at  Biloxi  seventy  men  and  six  sailor  boys,  and 
provisions  for  four  months.  On  May  4,  1699,  he  sailed 
for  France  on  board  the  Badine,  with  the  Count  de  Sur- 
geres,  who  commanded  the  Marin. 

Iberville  had  succeeded  in  his  undertaking:  he  had 
re-discovered  the  Mississippi  River,  and  had  sown  the 
seed  from  which  was  to  grow  our  Louisiana.  He  was 
again  to  revisit  his  infant  colony,  but  he  died  too  soon  to 
see  it  prosper.  Had  he  lived  only  a  few  years  longer, 
Bienville  would  not  have  had  such  a  hard  struggle  to  keep 
alive  the  colony  planted  on  the  shore  of  Biloxi.  Iber- 
ville's influence  at  court  would  have  helped  Bienville, 
and  the  two  courageous  brothers  would  have  worked 
with  zeal  and  harmony  to  build  on  a  solid  foundation 
the  settlement  established  after  so  many  years  of  hard- 

After  Iberville's  departure,  Sauvole  remained  in  com- 
mand of  the  infant  colony,  and  in  his  "  Journal  "  he  gives 
a  clear  and  concise  account  of  what  he  did.  He  begins 
by  saying  that  he  had  great  difficulty  in  maintaining  dis- 
cipline among  his  men,  and  that  he  had  mass  celebrated 
every  day.     The  chaplain  was  Father  Bordeneau;  the 

1699]  THE  "ENGLISH   TURN"  43 

former  companion  of  La  Salle,  Father  Anastase  Douay, 
had  returned  to  France  with  Iberville. 

On  May  17,  1699,  Sauvole  received  the  visit  of  the 
chief  of  the  Bayagoulas  and  three  other  Indians.  He 
ordered  the  soldiers  to  present  arms,  and  he  gave  presents 
to  the  savages.  The  next  morning  the  latter  said  their 
wives  were  not  far  distant  and  would  like  to  see  the  fort. 
When  the  squaws  appealed,  the  chief  claimed  for  his  wife 
the  same  honors  as  for  himself.  This  gallantry  astonished 
the  French  commander,  and  although  he  complied  with 
the  request,  he  took  care  to  let  his  guest  know  that  he 
and  his  men  feared  nobody. 

Sauvole  sent  Bienville  on  excursions  among  the  Cola- 
pissas,  the  Mobilians,  and  other  neighboring  tribes,  and 
also  to  explore  again  the  Mississippi.  Bienville  left  Bi- 
loxi  on  August  24,  1699,  and  with  five  men  in  two  bark 
canoes  went  up  the  great  river  as  far  as  the  Ouachas.  On 
his  return  journey  he  met,  on  September  16,  twenty-eight 
leagues  from  the  mouth  of  the  river,  an  English  frigate, 
the  captain  of  which  said  he  intended  to  form  a  settlement 
on  the  coast  of  the  Mississippi.  Bienville,  according  to 
the  "  Journal  Historique,"  "  assured  him  that  the  river 
which  he  was  seeking  was  more  to  the  west,  and  that  the 
river,  where  he  was,  was  a  dependency  of  Canada,  of 
which  possession  had  been  taken  in  the  name  of  His  Most 
Christian  Majesty."  The  captain  turned  back  and  de- 
parted, and  the  place  on  the  river  where  this  happened  is 
still  called  the  "  English  Turn." 

Penicaut  relates  the  story  differently  and  says:  "M. 
de  Bienville  went  to  him  and  asked  him  what  he  was  com- 

44  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [i<»» 

ing  to  seek  at  the  Mississippi,  and  whether  he  did  not 
know  that  the  French  were  established  in  the  country. 
The  Englishman,  very  much  astonished,  answered  him 
that  he  knew  nothing  about  it,  and  departed  a  moment 
later  to  return  to  the  sea,  grumbling  very  much  against 
the  French  and  M.  de  Bienville.  This  is  what  has  caused 
this  turn  to  be  called  the  '  English  Turn,'  which  name  it 
bears  to-day." 

Sauvole,  in  his  "  Journal,"  says :  "  On  going  down  the 
river,  twenty-five  leagues  from  its  mouth  M.  de  Bien- 
ville met  an  English  frigate  of  twelve  cannon,  which  he 
opposed,  according  to  the  order  which  I  had  given  him. 
The  captain,  named  Bar,  acknowledged  to  him  ingenu- 
ously that  he  had  explored  this  river  only  to  make  there 
an  establishment  for  a  company;  but  seeing  that  we  had 
taken  possession  of  it  before  them,  and  believing  that  we 
were  established  farther  up,  he  decided  to  return,  assuring 
our  men  that  he  would  be  seen  again  next  year."  The 
above  three  versions  are  given,12  as  the  story  has  been 
much  discussed.  The  English  were  claiming  Louisiana 
as  forming  part  of  the  Carolinas.  On  board  the  Eng- 
lish vessel  was  a  French  engineer,  M.  Secon,13  a  Protes- 
tant, who  gave  secretly  to  Bienville  a  petition  addressed 
to  the  King,  by  which  he  assured  the  latter  that  four  hun- 
dred Protestant  families  would  come  to  Louisiana  from 
the  Carolinas  if  the  King  would  grant  them  liberty  of 
conscience.  The  petition  was  sent  to  Pontchartrain,  who 
refused  the  request. 

Sauvole  speaks  of  the  intense  heat  in  the  summer  of 


1699,  of  the  numberless  alligators  and  snakes  around  the 
fort,  and  of  the  barrenness  of  the  land.  He  adds  that, 
unless  a  gold-mine  is  discovered,  the  King  will  not  be 
compensated  for  his  expenses.  As  for  the  natives,  they 
were  all  very  poor.  The  winter  was  exceedingly  cold,  and 
the  colonists  suffered  considerably.  They  were  delighted 
at  the  arrival  of  Iberville,  on  December  8, 1699,  with  sup- 
plies and  reinforcements.  He  was  accompanied  by 
Boisbriant,  who  was  to  be  major  at  Biloxi,  two  officers, 
and  Saint-Denis  and  De  Malton.  Having  been  told  of 
the  expedition  of  the  English  corvette  met  by  Bienville 
in  the  Mississippi,  Iberville  determined  to  ascend  that 
river  once  more.  He  ordered  a  fort  to  be  built,14  fifty- 
four  miles  from  the  mouth  of  the  river,  and  he  went  up 
the  Mississippi  as  far  as  the  Natchez.  He  was  well 
pleased  with  the  country  of  the  latter,  and  laid  the  plan 
of  a  fort  to  be  called  Fort  Rosalie  for  the  Countess  de 
Pontchartrain.  On  his  journey  Iberville  had  the  pleasure 
to  meet  Tonty,  who  had  come  to  offer  his  services  to  the 
French.  On  his  second  voyage  to  Biloxi,  Iberville  com- 
manded the  frigate  Renommee,  and  Surgeres  the  frigate 
Gironde.  The  King  had  confirmed  Iberville's  appoint- 
ment of  Sauvole  as  commander  at  Biloxi,  and  of  Bienville 
as  lieutenant,  second  in  command. 

At  this  time  took  place  the  expedition,  in  quest  of 
mineral  wealth,  of  the  geologist  Le  Sueur,  to  the  Sioux 
country,  which  the  carpenter  Penicaut  has  related  in  his 
usual  simple  and  charming  manner.  A  quantity  of  blue 
and  green  earth  was  brought  back  by  Le  Sueur  from  what 

46  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         inoi 

was  thought  to  he  a  copper-mine,  and  the  precious  freight 
was  carried  to  France ;  "  but,"  says  Penicaut,  "  we  never 
had  any  news  of  it  since." 

From  the  Tensas  village,  where  Iberville  set  out  to 
return  to  his  fort  on  the  Mississippi,  Bienville  began  his 
journey  to  the  northwest.  He  went  to  the  country  of  the 
Yatasses,  of  the  Ouachitas,  and  of  the  Natchitoches,  and 
he  heard  of  no  Spanish  settlement.  He  was  accompanied 
by  St.  Denis,  who  became  later  thoroughly  acquainted 
with  the  Spaniards  in  Mexico. 

Iberville  left  Bienville  in  command  of  the  fort  on  the 
Mississippi,  and  returned  to  France  on  May  28,  1700. 
Both  Sauvole  and  Bienville  had  great  difficulty  in  main- 
taining their  settlements,  in  spite  of  occasional  help  from 
the  mother  country.  On  August  22,  1701,  Sauvole,  the 
first  Governor  of  Louisiana,  died  of  fever.15  He  was  a 
man  of  honor,  of  courage,  and  of  judgment.  Bienville 
succeeded  him  in  the  command  of  the  colony.  Jean-Bap- 
tiste  Le  Moyne  was  oidy  twenty-two  years  of  age,  but 
had  been  for  several  years  a  constant  companion  of  his 
brother  Iberville  in  the  latter's  glorious  expeditions. 
Bienville  already  had  experience  and  judgment,  and 
from  the  death  of  Sauvole  he  was  for  many  years  the 
most  important  personage  in  the  history  of  French  Loui- 

The  founder  of  Louisiana  returned  to  his  colony  for 
the  last  time  on  December  18,  1701.  He  brought  the 
news  of  the  accession  of  Philip,  Duke  of  Anjou,  to  the 
throne  of  Spain.  Charles  II,  the  last  Spanish  monarch 
of  the  house  of  Austria,  died  in  1700,  and,  not  wishing 

1709]        FORT  LOUIS  DE  LA  MOBILE  47 

to  see  his  monarchy  dismembered,  he  named  as  his  heir 
the  second  son  of  the  Dauphin.  The  kingdom  that  Fer- 
dinand and  Isabella  had  founded,  to  which  Columbus  had 
given  a  new  world,  and  Cortez  and  Pizarro  the  countless 
treasures  of  Mexico  and  Peru,  the  country  in  the  capital 
of  which  Francis  I  had  been  a  prisoner  for  a  year,  where 
Charles  V  and  Philip  II  had  reigned,  had  been  weakened 
by  the  wars  of  Charles  and  the  intolerance  and  despotism 
of  Philip,  and  the  third  and  the  fourth  Philip  had  done 
nothing  to  arrest  the  decay  of  their  monarchy.  Louis 
XIV  had  married  the  oldest  daughter  of  Philip  IV,  and 
in  1700  he  allowed  his  grandson  to  accept  the  Spanish  suc- 
cession. This  elevation  of  a  Bourbon  to  the  Spanish 
throne  caused  a  coalition  of  nearly  all  Europe  against 
France  and  Spain,  and  the  disasters  of  the  war  reacted  on 

On  his  last  voyage  Iberville  commanded  again  the 
Henommee,  and  his  brother  Serigny  commanded  the  Pal- 
mier. The  valiant  sailor  was  in  bad  health,  but  he  dis- 
played his  usual  energy.  He  gave  orders  to  Bienville  to 
remove  the  seat  of  the  colony  from  Biloxi,  and  to  form  an 
establishment  on  Mobile  River.  When  Iberville  arrived 
on  his  third  voyage  he  found  only  one  hundred  and  fifty 
persons  in  the  colony.  More  than  sixty  men  had  died  at 
Biloxi,  and  for  three  months  the  garrison  had  subsisted 
on  a  little  corn. 

On  January  6,  1702,  Bienville  set  out  with  his  garrison 
to  found  the  new  settlement.  He  left  twenty  soldiers  at 
Biloxi,  under  the  command  of  Boisbriant,  and  met  on 
Massacre    (called  later  Dauphine)    Island  his  brothers 

48  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [noa 

Serigny  and  Chateaugue  and  Nicolas  de  La  Salle,  the 
new  intendant  or  commissary,  who  were  huilding  a  store- 
house there.  On  January  16,  1702,16  Bienville  and  Se- 
rigny went  up  Mobile  River,  and  at  a  point  eighteen 
leagues  from  the  sea  began  the  construction  of  a  fort  and 
of  a  storehouse.  Iberville,  who  reached  the  new  establish- 
ment on  March  3,  was  delighted  with  the  country,  which 
he  declared  to  be  "  perfectly  beautiful." 

The  intendant,  Nicolas  de  La  Salle,  had  been  one  of 
Robert  Cavelier  de  La  Salle's  companions  on  his  jour- 
ney down  the  Mississippi  in  1682,  and  he  is  mentioned 
by  Iberville  as  being  the  first  man  that  took  his  wife  and 
his  children  to  the  colony.  He  arrived  with  his  family 
on  March  19,  1702,  at  the  settlement  on  Mobile  River, 
which  was  called  Fort  Louis  de  la  Mobile.  Nicolas  de  La 
Salle  and  the  curate  de  la  Vente  were  to  be  a  little  later 
bitter  enemies  of  Bienville,  while  Father  Gravier  and  the 
commissary  Diron  dArtaguette,  successor  to  La  Salle, 
were  to  be  his  friends  and  defenders. 

Bienville's  lot  was  hard,  on  account  of  the  feuds  in  the 
colony,  and  the  difficulty  of  providing  the  people  under 
his  charge  with  the  means  of  existence.  Iberville  saw  the 
necessity  of  tilling  the  ground,  and  asked  the  French 
minister  to  send  farmers  to  Louisiana,  and  not  adven- 
turers. He  remained  but  a  short  time  in  the  colony  on 
his  third  voyage,  and  sailed  for  France  on  April  27, 1702. 
He  never  returned  to  his  settlement,  but  as  long  as  he 
lived  he  attended  to  the  needs  of  the  infant  colony,  and  he 
succeeded,  in  spite  of  the  war  in  Europe,  in  having  sup- 
plies sent  to  Louisiana.    He  died  of  yellow  fever  in  1706, 

1706]  DEATH  OF  IBERVILLE  49 

at  Havana,  where  he  had  gone  to  obtain  reinforcements 
from  the  Spaniards  for  an  attack  on  the  Carolinas.  Iber- 
ville was  a  worthy  successor  of  La  Salle;  he  was  as  able 
and  as  courageous:  but,  more  fortunate  than  the  great 
Norman  explorer  and  discoverer,  the  Canadian  sailor  suc- 
ceeded in  colonizing  the  land  to  which  La  Salle  had  given 
the  name  of  "  Louisiane." 


The  Struggle  for  Existence — The  Founding 
of  New  Orleans 

Hardships  of  the  colonists— Dealings  with  the  Indians  — Death  of  Tonty— 
Census  of  1704— Census  of  1706-De  Muys— Diron  d'Artaguette— D'Arta- 
guette  and  Bienville  advocate  an  establishment  on  the  Mississippi— P6- 
nicaut's  life  with  the  Indians— Slow  progress  of  Louisiana— Grant  to  Cro- 
zat—  Governor  Lamothe  Cadillac —Letters  patent  to  Crozat — Adminis- 
tration of  Lamothe  Cadillac  — Customs  of  the  Natchez  Indians— Bienville's 
punishment  of  the  Natchez  chiefs  —  Governor  de  l'FLpinay— Intendant  Hu- 
bert— Early  settlements — Fort  Cond6  of  Mobile — Dubreuil — Young  D'Ar- 
taguette—The  Western  Company— John  Law — Abstract  of  the  charter  of 
the  Western  Company — Foundation  of  New  Orleans  in  February,  1718  — 
New  Biloxi — The  Superior  Council  in  1719 — War  with  Spain— Capture  of 
Pensacola— Expeditions  of  Dutisn£  and  of  La  Harpe— The  German  Coast 
—  Pauger's  report  about  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi— New  Orleans  be- 
comes the  capital  — La  Tour's  report— The  hurricane  of  17J3 — Comman- 
dants of  posts — Names  of  districts  — Father  Charlevoix's  letter— Descrip- 
tion of  Louisiana  by  Le  Page  du  Pratz— Le  Page's  arrival  in  the  colony — 
His  concession  near  New  Orleans— The  calumet  dance— Departure  for  the 
Natchez  country— Settlement  near  Fort  Rosalie— Limits  of  Louisiana  ac- 
cording to  Le  Page— Climate— The  river  St.  Louis — Le  Page  goes  to  New 
Biloxi  —  Explorations  in  the  interior — Tribute  to  St.  Denis — Boats  of  the 
natives— List  of  the  Indian  tribes — Le  Page  meets  Father  Charlevoix— His 
departure  in   1734. 

HE  "  Journal  Historique,"  already 
referred  to,  which  is  our  chief  guide 
for  the  early  events  in  our  history, 
gives  but  meager  and  uninteresting 
details  about  the  hardships  of  the 
colonists  for  several  years.  In  June, 
1702,  the   Spaniards  at  Pensacola 


no*]  DEATH  OF  TONTY  51 

begged  for  provisions,  which  Bienville  sent  to  them; 
and  in  June,  1703,  they  came,  in  their  turn,  to  the  help 
of  the  French  colony  threatened  with  famine.  On  July 
24,  1704,  the  Pelican  arrived  with  supplies  and  seventy- 
five  soldiers,  together  with  the  curate  de  la  Vente,  four 
families  of  artisans,  and  two  Gray  sisters  who  had  in 
charge  twenty-three  young  girls  sent  as  wives  for  the 
colonists.  The  girls,  the  minister  wrote,  "  were  reared 
in  virtue  and  piety,  and  know  how  to  work."  They  did 
not  remain  long  unmarried. 

Bienville  and  his  men  had  to  contend  not  only  against 
famine  but  also  against  disease,  fever  especially,  and 
against  the  Indians.  Several  expeditions  had  to  be  fitted 
out  against  various  tribes,  and  great  tact  had  to  be  used 
in  dealing  with  the  Choctaws  and  the  Chickasaws.  The 
former  were  generally  friendly  to  the  French,  but  the 
latter  became  their  mortal  enemies.  The  Mongoulachas 
were  destroyed  by  their  former  friends,  the  Bayagoulas, 
and  the  latter  were  nearly  all  massacred  by  the  Tensas, 
to  whom  they  had  given  hospitality.  In  September,  1704, 
an  epidemic,  supposed  to  be  yellow  fever,  broke  out,  and 
thirty-five  persons  died,  among  whom  was  the  gallant 
Tonty,  La  Salle's  devoted  friend,  the  most  chivalric  of 
the  explorers  of  America. 

According  to  a  report 1  dated  August  31,  1704,  from 
Fort  Louis  of  Mobile,  the  situation  of  the  colony  was  as 
follows:  "  180  men  bearing  arms;  27  French  families, 
which  have  only  3  little  girls  and  7  young  boys  from 
1  to  10  years;  6  young  savage  boys,  slaves,  from  12  to  18 
years;  5  young  savage  girls,  slaves,  from  15  to  20  years; 

52  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [noe 

4  ecclesiastics  (1  Jesuit  and  3  priests) ;  190  arpents  of 
ground,  which  form  the  inclosure  of  the  town ;  80  wooden 
houses  of  one  story,  covered  with  palmetto  leaves  or 
straw,  built  on  streets  drawn  with  a  tow-line;  9  oxen,  of 
which  5  belong  to  the  King;  14  cows;  4  bulls,  of  which  1 
belongs  to  the  King;  5  calves,  100  hogs,  3  goats,  400 
chickens,  which  the  commissary  has  preserved  carefully 
for  breeding." 

The  following  census  was  copied  by  the  writer  at  the 
Ministry  of  the  Colonies  in  1900,  and  is  very  interesting, 
as  it  gives  the  names  of  the  inhabitants  at  that  time : 

Year  1706. 

Louisiana. — Enumeration  of  the  families  and  inhabitants  who 
are  in  Louisiana  according  to  the  census  which  has  been  made  of 
them  on  August  1,  1706. 

Number  of  persons. 

M.  de  La  Salle,  his  wife  and  4  children 6 

Guillaume  Broutin  and  his  wife 2 

Jean  Roy,  his  wife  and  2  children 4 

Jean  La  Loire,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Jean  Le  Camp  has  the  first  male  child  born  in  Louisiana  2  .      .2 

Francois  May,  his  wife  and  2  children 4 

Nicolas  Lafreniere,  bachelor 1 

Francois  Trudeau,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Etienne  Bruille,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Mile.  Le  Sueur,  widow,  came  from  Canada  with  3  daughters 

and   1    boy 5 

Mile.  Boissenaud,  unmarried 1 

Gabrielle  Bonnot,  crazy,  her  husband  has  deserted  ....     1 

Michel  Risbe 1 

Laurent  Clostiny  and  1    child 2 


Numl>er  of  persons. 

The  Sieur  Barran  and  his  wife 2 

Andre  Renaud,  Ills  wife  and  a  child 3 

Gilbert  Dardenne,  his  wife  and  a  child 3 

Pierre  Brossard,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Pierre  Allin,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Jean  Bonobonnoire,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Antoine  Ilinarre,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Claude  Trcpanie,  his  wife  and  1  child 3 

Jean  Coulomb,  his  wife  and  2  children 4 

Joseph  Penigaud,  his  wife 2 

Jean  Sossie,  a  wife  and  2  children 4 

Marie  Mercier,  unmarried 1 

Marie   Crisot,  midwife 1 

Jean  Louis  Minuity,  his  wife  and  2  children 4 

Anne  Perro,  widow,  with  4  children 5 

Total, 82 

Cattle. — 35  cows,  including  12  heifers;  5  bulls;  6  oxen,  of 
which  4  belong  to  the  King;  total,  46. 

Done  at  fort  Louis  of  Louisiana,  August  1,  1706. 

Bienville.  De  La  Salle. 

The  struggle  for  existence  continued  from  1704  to 
1708,  and  in  that  year  Bienville's  enemies  appeared  to  be 
successful  in  their  attacks  against  him.  In  February, 
1708,  the  news  reached  the  colony  that  a  new  governor, 
De  Muys,  had  been  sent  to  supersede  Bienville,  but  had 
died  at  Havana.  Diron  d  Artaguette,  the  new  intendant 
(commissaire  ordonnateur) ,  arrived  at  Dauphine  Island 
on  February  10,  1708.  He  had  received  orders  to  inves- 
tigate the  conduct  of  the  officials,  and  the  minister  had 
even  prejudged  the  case  by  sending  an  order  for  the 

54  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [mo 

arrest  of  Bienville,  adding,  however,  that  this  was 
not  to  be  done  if  he  was  found  innocent.  Bienville 
complained  that  he  was  not  informed  of  the  charges 
against  him,  and  wished  to  return  to  France  by  the 
Renommec.  The  commander  of  that  vessel  refused 
to  take  him  on  board  because,  De  Muys  having  died, 
Bienville  was  still  governor.  D'Artaguette  sent  later 
a  communication  to  the  French  minister,  by  which  he 
completely  exonerated  Bienville  of  all  charges  against 
him.  He  saw  that  the  young  Canadian  had  done  the 
best  he  could  with  the  means  at  his  disposal,  and  that  he 
was  popular  with  the  colonists  and  with  the  Indians. 
Bienville  knew  perfectly  the  customs  of  the  latter,  and 
spoke  several  Indian  languages. 

D'Artaguette  remained  in  Louisiana  until  1711;  he 
was  a  man  of  sound  judgment,  and  advocated  with  Bien- 
ville an  establishment  on  the  Mississippi  to  replace  the 
fort  that  had  been  abandoned  in  1705.  D'Artaguette 
suggested  a  place,  which  is  probably  now  the  Gentilly 
Ridge.  During  the  intendant's  stay  in  the  colony,  the 
distress  of  the  inhabitants  was  very  great,  and  in  1710 
Bienville  allowed  some  of  his  men  to  go  to  live  among  the 
savages,  as  he  was  not  able  to  provide  for  them.  This 
seems  strange,  if  we  believe  Commissary  La  Salle's 
report,3  made  on  August  12,  1708,  in  which  he  gives 
the  population  as  composed  of  a  garrison  of  122  persons, 
— including  priests,  workmen,  and  boys, — 157  inhabi- 
tants,— men,  women  and  children, — besides  60  wander- 
ing Canadians  and  80  Indian  slaves,  and  reports  1400 
hogs,  2000  chickens,  and  about  100  heads  of  cattle. 

1710]  PENICAUT  55 

Let  us  now  return  to  our  friend  Penicaut,  the  literary 
carpenter.  He  calls  attention  to  the  moss  on  the  trees, 
and  says  that  the  French  called  it  "  Spanish  beard  " 
(barbe  a  I'Espagnolc),  and  the  Spaniards  "French 
wig"  (pemtque  a  la  Fran  false).  In  1704  Penicaut 
had  spent  some  time  among  the  Natchez,  of  whom  he 
gives  an  interesting  description.  In  1710  he  resolved  to 
go  among  the  Colapissas  and  the  Natchitoches  on  the 
banks  of  Lake  Pontchartrain.  Twelve  young  men  set 
out  in  two  canoes,  carrying  with  them  a  kettle  and  pro- 
visions for  three  days.  They  killed  a  quantity  of  game 
on  the  way,  and  in  eight  days  arrived  at  the  villages  of 
their  savage  friends.  They  were  cordially  received,  their 
game  was  cooked  for  them,  and  at  night  the  Indians  be- 
gan to  dance  in  honor  of  their  guests.  What  was  the 
surprise  of  the  young  warriors  and  squaws  when  they 
heard  one  of  the  Frenchmen,  named  Picard,  play  the 
violin.  Carried  away  by  their  enthusiasm,  the  Indians 
jumped  about  wildly,  until  two  of  the  white  men  danced 
a  minuet  which  delighted  their  hosts.  Picard,  the  fiddler, 
resided  with  the  chief  of  the  Colapissas,  while  Penicaut 
enjoyed  the  hospitality  of  the  Natchitoches  chief,  who 
had  two  beautiful  daughters,  Oulchogonime,  the  "  Good 
Girl "  in  their  language,  and  Oulchil,  the  "  Beautiful 
Weaver."  The  French  spent  the  winter  with  the  Indi- 
ans, hunting  and  fishing  with  them,  and  teaching  the 
young  damsels  the  stately  dances  of  Louis  XIV's  court. 
Penicaut  says  that  on  his  return  from  the  hunt  in  winter, 
he  used  to  sit  by  the  fire  and  teach  the  two  daughters 
of  his  host  to  speak  French.     "  They  nearly  made  me 

56  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ms 

die  with  laughter,"  says  he,  "  with  their  savage  pronun- 
ciation, which  comes  only  from  the  throat,  while  French 
is  spoken  simply  with  the  tongue,  without  being  gut- 
tural." The  young  carpenter  must  be  reckoned  the  ear- 
liest teacher  of  French  in  Louisiana.  It  is  a  pity  that  he 
did  not  stay  long  enough  among  the  Colapissas  and 
Natchitoches  to  complete  the  course  in  physiological  pho- 
netics begun  so  auspiciously.  A  little  later  the  Natchi- 
toches were  taken  back  to  their  former  lands  on  Red 
River,  and  Penicaut  was  fortunate  enough  to  protect 
from  the  wrath  of  the  Colapissas  the  father  of  his  charm- 
ing pupils. 

In  1712  the  colony  of  Louisiana — or  Mississippi,  as  it 
was  often  called — was  ceded  by  Louis  XIV  to  a  wealthy 
merchant  named  Antoine  Crozat.  The  population  was 
composed  of  four  hundred  persons,  including  twenty 
negroes.  The  progress  of  Louisiana  had  been  very  slow, 
and  the  following  extract  from  Judge  Martin's  history  4 
admirably  explains  the  slow  growth: 

The  coast  of  the  sea  abounded  with  fish;  the  lagoons  near 
Mobile  River  were  covered  with  water-fowl;  the  forests  teemed 
with  deer,  the  prairies  with  buffalo,  and  the  air  with  wild  tur- 
keys. By  cutting  down  the  lofty  pine  trees  around  the  fort,  the 
colonists  would  have  uncovered  a  soil  abundantly  producing  corn 
and  pease.  By  abandoning  the  posts  on  the  Mississippi,  on  Ship 
and  Dauphine  Islands  and  at  the  Biloxi,  the  necessary  military 
duties  would  have  left  a  considerable  number  of  individuals  to 
the  labors  of  tillage,  especially  if  prudence  had  spared  frequent 
divisions  of  them  to  travel  thousands  of  miles  in  quest  of  ochres 
and  minerals  or  in  the  discovery  of  distant  land,  while  that  which 
was  occupied  was  suffered  to  remain  unproductive.     Thus,  in  the 

ni9]  GRANT  TO  CROZAT  57 

concerns  of  communities  as  in  those  of  individuals,  immediate,  real 
and  secure  advantages  are  foregone  for  distant,  dubious  and  often 
visionary  ones. 

As  we  have  already  said,  Louisiana  was  granted  to 
Crozat,5  on  September  14, 1712,  for  fifteen  years,  with  ex- 
clusive right  of  trade.  The  exhausted  condition  of 
France,  brought  about  by  the  War  of  the  Spanish  Suc- 
cession, was  the  only  excuse  for  the  surrender  of  a  whole 
province  to  one  man.  Crozat,  however,  seems  to  have 
done  all  in  his  power  to  make  the  colony  prosper.  It 
was  naturally  to  his  interest  to  do  so.  In  May,  1713,  the 
Baron  de  Lafosse  arrived  with  supplies  for  the  colonists 
and  merchandise  for  Crozat.  Among  the  passengers 
was  Lamothe  Cadillac,  who  had  been  appointed  governor 
of  the  colony.  Bienville  was  named  "  commandant  of  the 
Mississippi  and  its  tributaries,"  and  was  second  in  com- 

In  the  French  manuscripts  of  the  Mississippi  Valley, 
the  letters  patent  to  Crozat  are  given  in  full,  but  Judge 
Martin,  in  his  "  History  of  Louisiana,"  has  given  such  a 
clear  abstract  of  the  grant  that  we  shall  reproduce  it 

Crozat's  charter  bears  date  the  twenty-sixth8  of  September, 
1712.  Its  preamble  states  that  the  attention  the  King  has  always 
given  to  the  interests  and  commerce  of  his  subjects,  induced  him, 
nowithstanding  the  almost  continual  wars  he  was  obliged  to  sustain 
since  the  beginning  of  his  reign,  to  seek  every  opportunity  of 
increasing  and  extending  the  trade  of  his  colonies  in  America; 
that,  accordingly,  he  had  in  1683  given  orders  for  exploring  the 
territory  on  the  northern  continent,  between  New  France  and  New 

58  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ins 

Mexico;  and  La  Salle  had  succeeded  so  far  as  to  leave  no  doubt- 
as  to  the  facility  of  opening  a  communication  between  Canada  and 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  through  the  large  rivers  that  flow  in  the  inter- 
mediate space ;  which  had  induced  the  King,  immediately  after 
the  peace  of  Ryswick,  to  send  thither  a  colony  and  maintain  a 
garrison,  to  keep  up  the  possession,  taken  in  1683,  of  the  terri- 
tory on  the  Gulf,  between  Carolina  on  the  east  and  Old  and  New 
Mexico  on  the  west.  But,  war  having  broken  out  soon  afterward 
in  Europe,  he  had  not  been  able  to  draw  from  this  colony  the 
advantages  he  had  anticipated,  because  the  merchants  of  the  king- 
dom engaged  in  maritime  commerce  had  relations  and  concerns 
in  the  other  French  colonies,  which  they  could  not  relinquish. 

The  King  declares  that,  on  the  report  made  to  him  of  the  situa- 
tion of  the  territory  now  known  as  the  province  of  Louisiana, 
he  has  determined  to  establish  there  a  commerce,  which  will  be 
very  beneficial  to  France,  it  being  now  necessary  to  seek  in  foreign 
countries  many  articles  of  commerce  which  may  be  obtained  there, 
for  merchandise  of  the  growth  or  manufacture  of  the  kingdom. 

He  accordingly  grants  to  Crozat  the  exclusive  commerce  of  all 
the  territory  possessed  by  the  Crown,  between  Old  and  New 
Mexico,  and  Carolina,  and  all  the  settlements,  ports,  roads,  and 
rivers  therein — principally  the  port  and  road  of  Dauphine  Island, 
before  called  Massacre  Island,  the  river  St.  Louis  (previously 
called  the  Mississippi),  from  the  sea  to  the  Illinois,  the  river 
St.  Philip  (before  called  the  Missouri),  the  river  St.  Jerome 
(before  called  the  Wabash),  with  all  the  land,  lakes,  and  rivers 
mediately  or  immediately  flowing  into  any  part  of  the  river  St. 
Louis  or  Mississippi. 

The  territory  thus  described  is  to  be  and  remain  included  under 
the  style  of  government  of  Louisiana,  and  to  be  a  dependence  of 
the  government  of  New  France,  to  which  it  is  to  be  subordinate. 
The  King's  territory,  beyond  the  Illinois,  is  to  be  and  continues 
part  of  the  government  of  New  France,  to  which  it  is  annexed; 
and  he  reserves  to  himself  the  faculty  of  enlarging  that  of 

1712]      LETTERS  PATENT  TO  CROZAT        59 

The  right  is  given  to  the  grantee  to  export  from  France  into 
Louisiana  all  kinds  of  goods,  wares,  and  merchandise  during  fif- 
teen years,  and  to  carry  on  there  such  a  commerce  as  he  may 
think  fit.  All  persons,  natural  or  corporate,  are  inhibited  from 
trading  there,  under  the  pain  of  confiscation  of  their  goods,  wares, 
merchandise  and  vessels ;  and  the  officers  of  the  King  are  com- 
manded to  assist  the  grantee,  his  agents  and  factors,  in  seizing 

Permission  is  given  to  open  and  work  mines,  and  to  export  the 
ore  to  France  during  fifteen  years.  The  property  of  all  the  mines 
he  may  discover  and  work  is  given  to  him ;  yielding  to  the  King 
the  fourth  part  of  the  gold  and  silver,  to  be  delivered  in  France, 
at  the  cost  of  the  grantee,  but  at  the  risk  of  the  King,  and  the 
tenth  part  of  all  other  metals.  He  may  search  for  precious  stones 
and  pearls,  yielding  to  the  King  one-fifth  of  them,  in  the  same 
manner  as  gold  and  silver.  Provision  is  made  for  the  re-union  to 
the  King's  domain  of  such  mines  as  may  cease  during  three  years 
to  be  worked. 

Liberty  is  given  to  the  grantee  to  sell  to  the  French  and  Indians 
of  Louisiana  such  goods,  wares  and  merchandise  as  he  may  import, 
to  the  exclusion  of  all  others  without  his  express  and  written  order. 
He  is  allowed  to  purchase  and  export  to  France  hides,  skins  and 
peltries.  But,  to  favor  the  trade  of  Canada,  he  is  forbidden  to 
purchase  beaver  skins  or  to  export  them  to  France  or  elsewhere. 

The  absolute  property,  in  fee  simple,  is  vested  in  him  of  all 
the  establishments  and  manufactures  he  may  make  in  silk,  indigo, 
wool  and  leather,  and  all  the  land  he  may  cultivate,  with  all 
buildings,  etc. ;  he  taking  from  the  Governor  and  Intendant  grants, 
which  are  to  become  void  on  the  land  ceasing  to  be  improved. 

The  laws,  edicts  and  ordinances  of  the  realm,  and  the  custom 
of  Paris,  are  extended  to  Louisiana. 

The  obligation  is  imposed  on  the  grantee  to  send  yearly  two 
vessels  from  France  to  Louisiana,  in  each  of  which  he  is  to  trans- 
port two  boys  or  girls,  and  the  King  may  ship  free  from  freight 
twenty-five  tons  of  provisions,  ammunition,  etc.,  for  the  use  of 

GO  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         pm 

the  colony, — and  more,  paying  freight ;  and  passage  is  lo  be 
afforded  to  the  King's  officers  and  soldiers  for  a  fixed  compensation. 

One  hundred  quintals  of  powder  are  to  be  furnished  annually 
to  the  grantee,  out  of  the  King's  stores,  at  cost. 

An  exemption  from  duties  on  the  grantee's  goods,  wares  and 
merchandise,  imported  to  or  exported  from  Louisiana,  is  allowed. 

The  King  promises  to  permit,  if  he  thinks  it  proper,  the  im- 
portation of  foreign  goods  to  Louisiana,  on  the  application  of 
the  grantee,  and  the  production  of  his  invoices,  etc. 

The  use  is  given  to  him  of  the  boats,  pirogues  and  canoes  be- 
longing to  the  King,  for  loading  and  unloading ;  he  keeping  and 
returning  them  in  good  order  at  the  expiration  of  his  grant. 

The  faculty  is  allowed  him  to  send  annually  a  vessel  to  Guinea, 
for  negroes,  whom  he  may  sell  in  Louisiana,  to  the  exclusion  of 
all  others. 

After  the  expiration  of  nine  years  the  grantee  is  to  pay  the 
field  officers  and  garrison  kept  in  Louisiana,  and  on  the  occurrence 
of  vacancies  commissions  are  to  be  granted  to  officers  presented 
by  the  grantee,  if  approved. 

The  expenses  of  the  King  for  the  salaries  of  his  officers  in 
Louisiana  were  fixed  at  the  annual  sum  of  ten  thousand  dollars. 
It  was  to  be  paid  to  Crozat  in  France,  and  the  drafts  of  the  com- 
missary ordonnateur  were  to  be  paid  in  Crozat's  stores,  in  cash 
or  in  goods,  with  an  advance  of  fifty  per  cent.  Sales  in  all  other 
cases  were  to  be  made,  in  these  stores,  at  an  advance  of  one  hun- 
dred per  cent. 

Lamothe  Cadillac  was  the  founder  of  Detroit,  and  had 
been  a  favorite  of  Frontenac.  He  was  a  man  of  courage 
and  ability,  and  had  been  a  successful  pioneer,  but  his 
career  in  Louisiana  was  a  failure.  His  intendant,  Duclos, 
became  a  friend  of  Bienville,  and  there  was  discord,  as 
at  the  time  of  Nicolas  de  La  Salle.  The  governor  sent 
gloomy  reports  about  everything  in  the  settlement,  and 

1716]        CUSTOMS    OF   THE   NATCHEZ  61 

had  visions  of  mineral  wealth  continually  before  his  eyes. 
Nothing  of  great  importance  occurred  during  his  ad- 
ministration, except  the  first  Natchez  war  in  1716.  We 
may  mention,  however,  the  expeditions  of  St.  Denis  to 
Mexico  in  1714  and  1716,  during  which  he  founded  Nat- 
chitoches in  1715.  Penicaut  has  related  the  romance  of 
the  marriage  of  St.  Denis  with  a  noble  Mexican  lady; 
but  as  our  friend,  the  carpenter,  heard  the  story  from 
Jalot,  St.  Denis's  valet,  and  wrote  it  several  years  later, 
we  may  believe  that  the  events  were  colored  by  his  im- 
agination. The  adventures  of  Juchereau  de  St.  Denis  7 
were  wonderful ;  but  that  officer  was,  nevertheless,  a  brave 
and  capable  man,  who  rendered  great  services  to  the 

Le  Page  du  Pratz  and  Penicaut  have  given  descrip- 
tions of  the  Natchez,  and  the  latter  and  Richebourg  wrote 
an  account  of  the  first  trouble  with  them.  We  shall  fol- 
low here  Penicaut's  relation.  The  village  of  the  Natchez 
was  the  finest  in  Louisiana,  and  their  country  was  de- 
lightful. The  Indians  of  that  tribe,  both  men  and  wo- 
men, were  well  made  and  very  cleanly.  Their  chief  was 
called  the  Great  Sun,  and  inheritance  of  that  title  was 
in  the  female  fine.  They  had  a  temple  in  which  a  fire 
was  burning  continually  to  represent  the  sun,  which  they 
adored.  Whenever  a  Great  Sun  died,  or  a  female  Sun, 
or  any  of  the  inferior  Suns,  the  wife  or  the  husband  was 
strangled,  together  with  the  nearest  relatives  of  the  de- 
ceased. Sometimes  little  children  were  sacrificed  by  their 

The  Natchez  murdered  five  Frenchmen,  and  Bienville 

62  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [im 

was  sent  to  punish  them.  When  he  arrived  among  the 
Tunicas,  near  the  Natchez  country,  he  built  a  fort  and 
sent  a  lieutenant  and  twenty  men  to  tell  the  Natchez 
chiefs  that  he  wished  to  see  them.  Twenty-eight  warriors 
came  to  see  Bienville,  and  when  they  offered  him  the  calu- 
met he  refused,  saying  that  he  wanted  the  head  of  the 
chief  of  the  White  Earth.  He  then  made  the  chiefs 
prisoners.  The  Great  Sun  sent  the  head  of  a  man,  but 
it  was  not  the  one  Bienville  wanted.  The  commander 
was  informed  that  among  his  prisoners  were  four  of 
the  men  who  had  murdered  the  Frenchmen,  and  Bienville 
had  their  heads  broken  with  sticks.  Among  them  was  a 
wicked  chief  called  "  the  Bearded."  Peace  was  after- 
ward made  with  the  Natchez,  and  Fort  Rosalie  was  built 
in  their  country. 

Cadillac  was  much  shocked  at  what  he  called  Bien- 
ville's treachery  and  cruelty,  and  we  must  agree  with  him 
to  a  certain  extent.  Bienville's  only  excuse  was  that  he 
was  asked  to  do  a  thing  that  was  impossible — to  attack 
the  Natchez,  twelve  hundred  strong,  with  a  force  of  one 
hundred  men.  The  Indians  were  so  treacherous  that  Bien- 
ville thought  he  might  treat  them  as  they  often  treated 
the  French  when  they  had  the  opportunity.  This  is,  how- 
ever, not  a  good  excuse,  and  Bienville  should  rather  have 
risked  his  life  and  that  of  his  men  than  have  used  deceit 
in  his  dealings  with  his  savage  foes. 

Crozat  did  not  approve  of  Lamothe  Cadillac's  admin- 
istration, and  he  was  removed  from  office  in  the  autumn 
of  1716.  Bienville  was  to  be  in  command  until  the  arrival 
of  De  l'Epinay,  Cadillac's  successor.    The  new  governor 


■  arrived  in  the  colony  on  March  9,  1717,  accompanied 
by  Hubert  as  intendant  or  commissaire  ordonnateur. 
Strange  to  say,  Ue  l'Epinay  and  his  intendant  agreed  per- 
fectly well,  but  discord  reigned,  nevertheless,  in  the  col- 
ony. Bienville  had  received  the  cross  of  St.  Louis,  but 
he  was  disappointed  at  not  being  appointed  governor, 
and  he  and  his  friends  formed  a  party  in  opposition  to 
De  l'Epinay  and  Hubert. 

The  colony,  at  that  time,  contained  "  seven  hundred 
souls,  of  all  ages,  sexes,  and  colors."  "  The  settlements," 
says  Monette,8  "  increased  slowly,  and  were  confined 
chiefly  to  the  river  and  bay  of  Mobile,  and  other  parts 
of  the  coast  westward  from  Biloxi.  Two  small  settle- 
ments had  been  commenced  on  Red  River,  near  Natchi- 
toches, and  at  Alexandria."  ..."  Several  small  forts 
had  been  erected.  Among  them  was  the  one  on  the 
Coosa  River,  called  Fort  Toulouse,  and  the  other,  at 
Natchez,  known  as  Fort  Rosalie."  Fort  Louis  of  Mobile, 
established  in  January,  1702,  on  the  river  Mobile,  fifty- 
four  miles  from  the  sea,  had  been  abandoned  in  March, 
1710,  on  account  of  an  inundation,  and  the  fort,  called 
Fort  Louis  at  first  and  Conde  afterward,9  was  removed 
to  the  present  site  of  the  city  of  Mobile. 

In  March,  1717,  three  companies  of  infantry  arrived 
in  the  colony,  and  fifty  settlers,  among  whom  was  Du- 
breuil,  who,  a  little  later,  became  the  richest  planter  in 
Louisiana.  D'Artaguette,  a  son  of  the  former  intendant, 
arrived  also  at  that  time. 

In  August,  1717,  Crozat  surrendered  his  charter  to 
the  Regent  of  France,  who  accepted  it  and  made  a  grant 


64  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [mi 

of  the  colony  to  the  Mississippi  or  Western  Company, - 
directed  then  hy  the  celebrated  Scotchman,  John  Law. 
Louis  XIV  had  died  in  1715,  and  had  been  succeeded  by 
his  great-grandson,  Louis  XV,  under  the  regency  of 
Philip,  Duke  of  Orleans,  nephew  of  the  late  King.  Law's 
financial  plan  was  good  and  inaugurated  the  system  of 
credit  resting  on  the  emission  of  notes  and  bonds.  Un- 
fortunately, there  was  not  sufficient  security  to  represent 
the  value  of  the  notes,  and  although  the  plan  was  ap- 
parently successful  at  first,  it  soon  failed.  Speculation 
ran  high  for  a  time  in  the  Rue  Quincampoix;  but  the 
notes  became  valueless,  and  great  changes  in  fortunes 
took  place  in  France.  John  Law  was  born  in  Edinburgh 
in  1671 ;  his  father  was  a  wealthy  goldsmith,  and  his  fam- 
ily was  descended  from  the  celebrated  house  of  Argyle. 
He  devoted  himself  at  an  early  age  to  games  of  chance 
and  financial  questions.  At  the  age  of  twenty-four  he 
was  condemned  to  death  for  a  duel  occasioned  by  a  love 
affair,  but  the  sentence  was  commuted  to  imprisonment 
for  life.  He  succeeded  in  escaping,  left  England,  and 
wandered  over  Europe  for  several  years,  gambling  and 
everywhere  proposing  a  new  system  of  credit.  In  1716 
the  Regent  of  France,  Philip  of  Ox-leans,  accepted  Law's 
system  by  authorizing  the  creation  of  a  bank,  to  which 
was  added  in  1717  a  great  colonizing  scheme.  The  Re- 
gent had  been  at  first  only  the  protector  of  the  bank,  but 
in  December,  1718,  the  institution  was  declared  a  royal 
or  state  institution.  There  were  soon  extravagant  emis- 
sions of  bank-notes,  and  they  became  valueless  as  well 
as  the  bonds  or  stocks.     The  bank  was  closed,  but  the 

'  ^HMH 

ni7]  THE   WESTERN   COMPANY  65 

Company  of  the  West,  or  of  the  Mississippi,  survived 
under  the  name  of  the  Company  of  the  Indies.  Law  left 
France  in  December,  1720.1"  "  He  had  loyally  thrown 
his  personal  fortune  into  the  system;  he  entered  France 
rich ;  he  left  it  ruined.  He  died  poor  in  Venice  in  1729. 
He  had  had,  in  his  ideas,  a  mixture  of  new  truths  and  of 
dangerous  errors ;  but  he  had  wished  sincerely  the  public 
good.  He  had  introduced,  in  the  different  branches  of 
the  administration,  excellent  reforms,  of  which  a  part 
survived."  Law's  system  is  sometimes  called  the  "  Mis- 
sissippi Bubble." 

The  following  is  an  abstract  of  the  charter  of  the 
Western  Company,  given  by  Judge  Martin  in  his  "  His- 
tory of  Louisiana  ": 

The  charter  of  the  new  corporation  was  registered  in  the  Parlia- 
ment of  Paris  on  the  sixth11  of  September,  1717.  It  is  to  be  dis- 
tinguished by  the  style  of  the  Western  Company,  and  all  the 
King's  subjects,  as  well  as  corporate  bodies  and  aliens,  are  allowed 
to  take  shares  in  it. 

The  exclusive  commerce  of  Louisiana  is  granted  to  it  for  twenty- 
five  years ;  with  the  right,  also  exclusive,  of  purchasing  beaver 
skins  from  the  inhabitants  of  Canada,  from  the  first  of  January, 
1718,  until  the  last  day  of  the  year  1742;  and  the  monarch  re- 
serves to  himself  the  faculty  of  settling,  on  information  to  be  ob- 
tained from  Canada,  the  number  of  skins  the  Company  shall  be 
bound  to  receive  annually  from  the  inhabitants,  and  the  price  to 
be  paid  therefor. 

All  the  other  subjects  of  the  King  arc  prohibited  from  trading 
to  Louisiana,  under  penalty  of  the  confiscation  of  their  merchandise 
and  vessels ;  but  this  is  not  intended  to  prevent  the  inhabitants 
from  trading  among  themselves  or  with  the  Indians.     It  is  like- 

66  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [hit 

wise  prohibited  to  any  but  the  Company  to  purchase,  during  the 
same  period,  beaver  skins  in  Canada  for  exportation,  under  penalty 
of  the  forfeiture  of  the  skins,  and  of  the  vessels  in  which  they 
may  be  shipped,  but  the  trade  in  these  skins  is  to  continue  as 
heretofore  in  the  interior. 

The  land,  coasts,  harbors  and  islands  in  Louisiana  are  granted 
to  the  Company,  as  they  were  to  Crozat,  it  doing  faith  and 
homage  to  the  King,  and  furnishing  a  crown  of  gold  of  the  weight 
of  thirty  marks  at  each  mutation  of  the  sovereignty. 

It  is  authorized  to  make  treaties  with  the  Indians,  and  to  declare 
and  prosecute  war  against  them  in  case  of  insult. 

The  property  of  all  mines  it  may  open  and  work  is  granted 
to  it,  without  the  payment  of  any  duty  whatsoever. 

The  faculty  is  given  to  grant  land,  even  allodially,  to  erect 
forts,  and  levy  troops  and  recruits  even  in  the  kingdom,  procur- 
ing the  King's  commission  for  this  purpose. 

It  is  authorized  to  nominate  governors  and  the  officers  com- 
manding the  troops,  who  are  to  be  presented  by  the  directors  and 
commissioned  by  the  King,  and  removable  by  the  Company.  Pro- 
visional commissions  may,  in  case  of  necessity,  be  granted,  to  be 
valid  during  six  months,  or  until  the  royal  commission  arrive. 

The  directors  and  all  officers  are  to  take  an  oath  of  fidelity  to 
the  King. 

All  civil  suits  to  which  the  Company  may  be  a  party  are  to  be 
determined  by  the  consular  jurisdiction  of  the  city  of  Paris,  the 
sentences  of  which  under  a  fixed  sum  are  to  be  in  the  last  resort ; 
those  above  are  to  be  provisorily  executed  notwithstanding,  but 
without  prejudice  of  the  appeal,  which  is  to  be  brought  before 
the  Parliament  of  Paris.  Criminal  jurisdiction  is  not  to  draw 
with  it  that  of  the  civil  matter. 

The  King  promises  not  to  grant  any  letter  of  dispensation  or 
respite  to  any  debtor  of  the  Company ;  and  he  assures  it  of  the 
protection  of  his  name,  against  any  foreign  nation  injuring  the 

French  vessels  and  crews  alone  are  to  be  employed  by  it,  and 

1717]  THE    WESTERN    COMPANY  67 

it  is  to  bring  the  produce  of  Louisiana  into  the  ports  of  the  king- 
dom. All  goods  in  its  vessels  are  to  be  presumed  its  property, 
unless  it  be  shown  they  were  shipped  with  its  license. 

Subjects  of  the  King  removing  to  Louisiana  arc  to  preserve 
their  national  character,  and  their  children  (and  those  of  European 
parents  professing  the  Roman  Catholic  religion)  born  there  are 
to  be  considered  as  natural-born  subjects. 

During  the  continuance  of  the  charter,  the  inhabitants  of 
Louisiana  are  exempted  from  any  tax  or  imposition,  and  the  Com- 
pany's goods  from  duty. 

With  the  view  of  encouraging  it  to  build  vessels  in  Louisiana, 
a  gratification  is  to  be  paid  on  the  arrival  of  each  of  them  in 

Four  hundred  quintals  of  powder  are  to  be  delivered  annually 
to  the  Company,  out  of  the  royal  magazines,  at  cost. 

The  stock  is  divided  into  shares  of  five  hundred  livres  each 
(about  one  hundred  dollars).  Their  number  is  not  limited;  but 
the  Company  is  authorized  to  close  the  subscription  at  discretion. 
The  shares  of  aliens  are  exempted  from  the  "  droit  d'aubaine  " 
and  confiscation  in  case  of  war. 

Holders  are  to  have  a  vote  for  every  fifty  shares.  The  affairs 
of  the  Company,  during  the  first  years,  are  to  be  managed  by 
directors  appointed  by  the  King,  and  afterward  by  others,  ap- 
pointed triennially  by  the  stockholders. 

The  King  gives  to  the  Company  all  the  forts,  magazines,  guns, 
ammunitions,  vessels,  boats,  provisions,  etc.,  in  Louisiana,  with  all 
the  merchandise  surrendered  by  Crozat. 

It  is  to  build  churches  and  provide  clergymen;  Louisiana  is 
to  remain  part  of  the  diocese  of  Quebec.  It  engages  to  bring  in, 
during  its  privilege,  six  thousand  white  persons  and  three  thou- 
sand negroes;  but  it  is  stipulated  it  shall  not  bring  any  person 
from  another  colony  without  the  license  of  the  Governor. 

By  an  edict  in  May,  1719,12  the  Companies  of  the  East 
Indies  and  of  China  were  united  to  the  Western  Com- 

68  A  HISTORY  OF  LOUISIANA         [ms 

pany,  and  by  Article  12  it  was  stipulated  that  the  name 
henceforth  would  be  the  Company  of  the  Indies. 

On  February  9,  1718,  three  ships  arrived  at  Dauphine 
Island  with  troops,  settlers,  and  provisions,  and  with 
Bienville's  appointment  as  commandant-general  or  gov- 
ernor, and  Hubert's  as  director-general.  As  soon  as 
Bienville  was  again  at  the  head  of  the  colony,  he  deter- 
mined to  effect  a  permanent  settlement  on  the  Mississippi 
River.  In  February,  1718,13  he  chose  a  site  thirty  leagues 
from  the  sea,  on  account  of  communication  with  Lake 
Pontchartrain  by  Bayou  St.  John,  and  left  there  fifty 
persons  to  clear  the  ground  and  construct  some  houses. 
The  future  town  was  named  New  Orleans,14  in  honor 
of  Philip  of  Orleans,  Regent  of  France.  It  was  des- 
tined to  become,  after  many  vicissitudes,  the  metropolis 
of  the  Southern  States  of  the  American  Union. 

Bienville  was  in  favor  of  transferring  the  seat  of  the 
colony  to  the  new  establishment ;  but  the  majority  of  the 
members  of  the  Superior  Council  were  of  opinion  that  the 
sea-coast  should  not  be  abandoned,  and  an  establishment 
was  made  in  December,  1719,  on  the  west  shore  of  the 
bay  of  Biloxi,  at  the  entrance  of  the  bay,  on  the  point 
opposite  Deer  Island.  This  was  called  Fort  Louis,  or 
New  Biloxi,  to  distinguish  it  from  Iberville's  original  set- 
tlement, Old  Biloxi,  which  was  accidentally  burned  to  the 
ground  in  1719.  The  Superior  Council,15  in  1719,  was, 
in  reality,  a  court  of  justice,  and  the  members  were: 
Bienville,  governor;  Hubert,  intendant;  Boisb riant  and 
Chateaugue,  lieutenants  of  the  King;  and  Villardo, 
L'Archambault,  and  Legac.    The  attorney-general  was 

i7i9j  WAR  WITH  SPAIN  69 

Cartier  tie  Baume,  and  Couture  was  secretary  of  the 

On  April  19,  1719,  Serigny,  Bienville's  brother,  arrived 
in  Louisiana,  with  orders  to  inspect  the  coast  and  make 
soundings,  and  assist  Bienville.  He  brought  the  news  of 
a  declaration  of  war  between  France  and  Spain.  This 
is  a  curious  historical  fact,  when  we  consider  the  im- 
mense sacrifices  made  by  Louis  XIV  to  place  his  grand- 
son on  the  throne  of  Spain,  and  his  supposed  saying: 
"  My  son,  there  are  no  longer  any  Pyrenees."  The  treaty 
of  Utrecht,  which  put  an  end  to  the  War  of  the  Spanish 
Succession,  was  signed  in  1713,  and  only*  six  years  later 
Philip  V,  or  rather  Alberoni,  his  minister,  was  waging 
war  against  Philip's  nephew,  Louis  XV.  In  that  war 
Serigny  distinguished  himself,  and  among  the  ship  cap- 
tains that  took  part  in  the  conflict  we  see  the  name  of 
De  Grieux,  who  commanded  the  Comtc  de  Toulouse. 

There  were  expeditions  against  Pensacola  and  against 
Dauphine  Island,  which  have  been  related  in  a  most  in- 
teresting manner  by  Le  Page  du  Pratz  and  by  Benard 
de  La  Harpe,  both  of  whom  had  arrived  in  Louisiana  in 
1718.  Pensacola  was  captured  by  the  French,  recap- 
tured by  the  Spaniards,  taken  a  second  time  by  the 
French,  and  returned  to  Spain  in  1723. 

In  December,  1719,  Bienville  received  from  the  Kas- 
kaskias  an  interesting  letter  from  Dutisne,  relating  a 
journey  to  the  west  as  far  as  the  lands  of  the  Osages  and 
of  the  Panionassas.  On  January  26,  1720,  Benard  de  La 
Harpe  arrived  from  a  long  and  eventful  journey,  after 
establishing  a  post  in  the  country  of  the  Cadodaquious  on 

70  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [im 

the  Red  River,  "  who  were,"  says  he,  "  established  two 
leagues  below  the  Nassonites,  and  the  Natsoos  and  the 
Natchitoches  three  leagues  above,  to  the  right  of  the 
river."  The  colony  was  at  last  progressing,  for,  in  spite 
of  the  war  with  Spain,  the  Company  of  the  Indies  sent 
a  large  number  of  settlers  and  supplies;  however,  the  in- 
habitants were  granted  no  freedom  of  trade,  and  little 
individual  freedom,  as  they  could  not  leave  the  colony 
without  the  consent  of  the  officers  of  the  Company.  On 
January  1, 1721, 16  the  population  of  the  colony  was  about 
six  thousand  persons,  including  about  six  hundred 

The  settlement  sustained  a  heavy  blow  in  1720,  when 
Law's  bank  and  his  financial  scheme  collapsed.  About 
two  hundred  and  fifty  Germans  who  had  been  sent  to 
Law's  concession  in  Arkansas  were  reduced  to  great  dis- 
tress, and  in  1723  received  grants  of  land  on  the  coast  of 
the  Mississippi  and  founded  the  German  Coast,  now  St. 
Charles  and  St.  John  Parishes.  Their  commandant  was 
the  Chevalier  d'Arensbourg,  a  Swedish  officer. 

In  a  despatch  dated  April  20, 1722,  Bienville  called  at- 
tention to  the  disadvantages  of  the  establishment  at  Bi- 
loxi.  The  ships  coming  from  France  had  to  be  unloaded 
at  Ship  Island,  and  the  freight  taken  to  Biloxi  at  great 
expense,  while  the  ships  might  enter  the  Mississippi  and 
be  unloaded  within  two  days.  On  January  25,  1723,  the 
engineer  Pauger 1T  made  an  important  report 1S  about  the 
mouth  of  the  river,  in  which  he  said  that,  "  On  his 
first  visit,  he  found  that  ships  drawing  fourteen,  fifteen 
feet  of  water,  and  even  more,  could  easily  pass."    "  He 

17»]       NEW  ORLEANS  THE   CAPITAL         71 

regretted  that,  in  spite  of  Bienville's  representations,  the 
Company  persisted  in  sending  its  ships  to  Biloxi."  He 
added  that  "  it  was  extremely  painful  and  costly  for  the 
inhabitants  on  the  river,  whose  number  must  increase 
every  day,  considering  the  fertility  of  the  lands,  to  go 
to  Biloxi  to  get  their  negroes  and  all  that  they  may 
need.''  He  recommended,  in  order  to  deepen  the  chan- 
nel, a  system  of  jetties  very  similar  to  that  of  Captain 
James  B.  Eads,  which  was  successfully  operated  a  cen- 
tury and  a  half  later. 

Bienville,  sustained  by  Pauger,  succeeded  in  having 
the  stores  of  the  Company  transferred  from  Biloxi  to 
New  Orleans  in  1722,  and  the  latter  town  became  the 
capital  of  the  colony.  On  July  1,  1722,  the  ship  Aventu- 
rier,  with  Blondel  de  la  Tour,  chief  engineer  and  lieu- 
tenant-general, and  Pauger,  had  passed  over  the  bar  of 
the  Mississippi,  and  this  had  proved  that  New  Orleans 
could  be  made  a  seaport.  Bienville  established  his  resi- 
dence there  in  August,  1722.  La  Tour's  report  of  his  ex- 
pedition, dated  New  Orleans,  August  30,  1722,  is  an  im- 
portant and  interesting  document.19  He  says  he  found 
at  least  fourteen  feet  of  water  in  the  channel,  and  adds: 
"  In  going  up  the  river,  I  examined  the  best  places  to 
establish  New  Orleans.  I  did  not  find  a  better  situation 
than  the  place  where  it  is ;  not  only  is  the  land  higher,  but 
it  is  near  a  bayou,  which  is  a  little  river,  which  falls  into 
Lake  Pontchartrain,  through  which  one  can  at  all  times 
communicate  with  the  New  Biloxi,  Mobile,  and  other 
ports,  more  easily  than  by  the  mouth  of  the  river."  La 
Tour  says  also  that  he  found  the  country  beautiful,  and 

72  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         11722 

that  everything  that  grows  in  the  islands  would  grow 
on  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi,  except  the  sugar-cane, 
on  account  of  the  frosts.  French  wheat  could  also  be 
cultivated  as  soon  as  the  land  was  sufficiently  cleared. 
We  see  that  La  Tour  was  not  a  good  prophet  with  re- 
gard to  sugar-cane  and  wheat.  Cane,  which  he  said 
could  not  grow,  has  enriched  Louisiana,  and  wheat  never 
has  been  grown  there  to  advantage. 

On  September  11,  1723,  a  hurricane  began,  which 
lasted  until  the  16th.  It  did  great  harm  to  the  crops 
of  rice,  peas,  and  corn,  and  destroyed  the  greater  part 
of  the  houses  at  New  Orleans.  The  store-house  built 
by  the  engineer  Pauger  was  spared,  but  the  one  at  Fort 
Louis  was  destroyed,  with  a  great  quantity  of  goods,  "  to 
the  great  content  of  the  storekeepers,"  says  the  "  Journal 
Historique,"  "  as  this  accident  released  them  from  the 
obligation  of  rendering  their  accounts."  The  comman- 
dant of  the  post  of  New  Orleans,  before  the  seat  of  gov- 
ernment was  transferred  to  that  place,  was  De  Riche- 
bourg,  who  has  left  us  a  narrative  of  events  at  that  time. 
The  other  commandants  of  posts  were  Marigny  de  Man- 
deville,  De  la  Harpe,  De  Loubois,  De  Saint  Denis,  De 
la  Marque,  Marchand,  and  De  Bournion.  Boisbriant 
and  Chateaugue  were  lieutenants  of  the  King — that  is 
to  say,  second  and  third  in  command.  The  province  was 
divided  into  nine  districts  or  quarters:  New  Orleans, 
Biloxi,  Mobile,  Alibamons,  Natchez,  Yazoux  or  Yazoos, 
Natchitoches,  Arkansas,  and  Illinois.  The  earliest  con- 
cessions established  were  those  of  Le  Blanc  at  Yazoux, 
Coly  at  Natchez,  Law  at  Arkansas,  DArtaguette  at 


Baton  Rouge,  Paris  Duverney  at  Pointe  Coupee,  Ville- 
mont  at  Blaek  River,  Cleracs  at  Natchez,  and  Chaumont 
at  Pascagoulas. 

The  following  letter,  written  by  Father  Charlevoix  20 
to  the  Duchesse  de  Lesdiguieres,  is  very  interesting.  It 
is  dated  from  New  Orleans,  January  10,  1722. 

I  am  at  length  arrived  in  that  famous  city,  which  has  been 
called  la  Nouvellc  Orleans.  Those  who  gave  it  that  name  believed 
that  Orleans  is  of  the  feminine  gender;  but  what  does  it  matter? 
the  custom  is  established,  and  it  is  above  the  rules  of  grammar. 
This  city  is  the  first  that  one  of  the  greatest  rivers  in  the  world 
has  seen  raised  on  its  banks.  If  the  eight  hundred  fine  houses, 
and  the  five  parishes  which  the  "  Mercure  "  gave  it  two  years  ago, 
are  reduced  to-day  to  about  one  hundred  huts,  placed  without  much 
order ;  to  a  large  store,  built  of  wood ;  to  two  or  three  houses  which 
would  not  adorn  a  village  in  France ;  and  to  half  of  a  poor  store, 
which  was  kindly  lent  to  the  lord,  and  of  which  he  had  hardly  taken 
possession  when  they  wished  to  make  him  leave  it,  to  lodge  him 
under  a  tent,  what  pleasure  on  another  side  to  see  increasing  in- 
sensibly this  future  capital  of  a  beautiful  and  vast  country,  and 
to  be  able  to  say,  not  sighing,  like  Virgil's  hero  while  speaking 
of  his  dear  country  consumed  by  the  flames,  "  and  the  fields  where 
was  the  city  of  Troy,"  but  full  of  the  best  grounded  hope,  this 
wild  and  desert  place,  which  the  reeds  and  trees  still  cover  almost 
entirely,  will  be  one  day,  and  perhaps  that  day  is  not  distant,  an 
opulent  city  and  the  metropolis  of  a  great  and  rich  colony. 

You  will  ask  me,  Madam,  on  what  I  base  this  hope?  I  base 
it  on  the  situation  of  this  town  thirty-three  leagues  from  the  sea, 
and  on  the  bank  of  a  navigable  river,  which  one  can  ascend  to 
this  place  in  twenty-four  hours;  on  the  fertility  of  its  soil;  on 
the  mildness  and  goodness  of  its  climate,  at  a  latitude  of  thirty 
degrees  north ;  on  the  industry  of  its  inhabitants ;  on  the  proximity 
of  Mexico,  where  one  can  go  in  two  weeks  by  sea;  on  that  of 

74  A   HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [wsb 

Havana,  which  is  still  closer,  of  the  most  beautiful  islands  of 
America,  and  of  the  English  colonies.  Is  anything  more  needed 
to  render  a  city  flourishing?  Rome  and  Paris  did  not  have  such 
important  beginnings,  were  not  built  under  such  favorable 
auspices,  and  their  founders  did  not  meet  on  the  Seine  and  on  the 
Tiber  the  advantages  which  we  have  met  on  the  Mississippi,  com- 
pared with  which  these  two  rivers  are  only  brooks. 

Father  Charlevoix  seems  to  have  enjoyed  the  gift  of 
prophecy  when,  in  1722,  he  predicted  such  a  brilliant  fu- 
ture for  New  Orleans. 

It  may  be  interesting  to  add  to  what  has  been  said  thus 
far  of  the  colony  and  of  New  Orleans  in  their  infancy 
the  description  of  Louisiana  as  seen  by  Le  Page  du  Pratz. 
The  "  History  of  Louisiana  "  of  Le  Page  du  Pratz  is 
very  interesting  and  important.  It  was  published  in 
Paris,  in  three  volumes,  in  1758.  The  author  remained 
in  the  colony  from  1718  to  1734,  and  he  relates  in  a 
charming  manner  what  he  saw  and  what  he  heard  dur- 
ing his  stay. 

Le  Page  tells  us  that  he  arrived  at  Massacre  Island 
(since  called  Dauphine)  on  August  25,  1718.  The 
Company  of  the  West  had  agreed  to  transport  him,  at 
their  own  expense,  to  the  place  of  his  concession,  which 
was  near  the  town  of  New  Orleans.  Bienville,  the  com- 
mandant-general of  the  colony,  was  absent  when  Le 
Page  arrived  at  Dauphine  Island,  having  gone  to  mark 
the  site  of  the  new  town.  On  his  return  he  complimented 
Le  Page  on  the  concession  which  he  had  chosen,  saying 
that  a  farm  in  the  vicinity  of  a  town  was  better  than  a 
lordly  estate  in  the  woods. 

1T22]  THE   CALUMET  DANCE  75 

The  new  colonist  was  anxious  to  go  to  his  concession, 
and  Bienville  sent  him  there  by  way  of  Lake  Pontchar- 
train.  He  gives  an  interesting  description  of  the  islands, 
bays,  and  lakes  that  he  saw,  and  says  that  by  following 
Bayou  Tchoupic  from  Lake  Pontchartrain  he  arrived 
at  the  place  where  had  been  the  village  of  the  Indians, 
called  by  the  French  Cola  Pissas,  but  whose  real  name 
was  Aquilou  Pissas,  which  means  "  nation  of  the  men 
who  see  and  who  hear." 

The  village  of  the  Indians  had  been  bought  by  a  Ca- 
nadian, who  received  Le  Page  and  his  men  very  hospi- 
tably. The  newcomer  bought  an  Indian  girl  to  be  his 
cook,  and  located  his  concession  on  Bayou  St.  John,  half 
a  league  from  the  future  capital  of  the  colony,  which 
consisted  then  of  only  one  cabin  covered  with  palmetto 
leaves.  He  was  pleased  at  first  with  his  plantation,  as 
the  land  was  very  fertile;  but  the  place  was  not  health- 
ful, on  account  of  inundations,  and  he  resolved  to  go  to 
the  Natchez  country.  He  remained  in  New  Orleans  two 
months  before  leaving  for  his  new  establishment,  and 
saw  the  presentation  of  the  calumet  of  peace  to  Bien- 
ville by  the  Tchitimachas  21  (Chetimachas).  There  were 
twelve  men,  preceded  by  the  "  word-bearer,"  all  splen- 
didly adorned.  Each  man  carried  a  chichicois  and  agi- 
tated it  in  cadence  while  singing  the  song  of  the  calumet, 
which  the  "  word-bearer  "  carried  moving  also  in  cadence. 
It  took  them  half  an  hour  to  go  over  a  distance 
of  a  hundred  steps  from  their  pirogues  to  Bienville's 
cabin.  The  "  word-bearer  "  told  the  governor:  "  Here 
you  are,  and  I  with  you."     Bienville  simply  answered, 

76  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [1722 

"  Yes."  Then  all  the  Indians  sat  on  the  ground  and 
hent  their  faces  on  their  hands,  as  if  to  meditate.  After 
a  moment,  the  "word-bearer"  rose  with  two  men;  one 
man  filled  the  calumet  with  tobacco,  the  other  brought 
some  fire,  and  the  first  man  lighted  the  pipe.  The  "  word- 
bearer  "  smoked  the  calumet,  wiped  it,  and  presented  it 
to  Bienville,  who  smoked  also.  All  the  persons  present 
did  the  same;  the  two  savages  sat  down  by  the  present 
which  they  had  brought, — deerskins, — and  the  "  word- 
bearer  "  was  the  only  one  standing.  He  was  dressed 
in  beaver-skins.  He  delivered  an  address,  after  which 
Bienville  replied  to  him  in  the  language  of  the  savages. 
He  gave  them  something  to  eat,  put  his  hand  in  that  of 
the  "  word-bearer  "  as  a  sign  of  friendship,  and  sent  them 
all  away  contented. 

Le  Page  bought  in  New  Orleans  two  slaves,  a  young 
negro  and  his  wife,  for  whom  he  paid  1320  livres,  and 
he  departed  for  the  Natchez  country  in  a  pirogue  in 
which  were  his  negro  slaves  and  his  Indian  slave.  His 
food  on  the  journey  consisted  of  the  wild  ducks  and 
geese  that  he  killed.  His  slaves  added  to  their  diet  tails 
of  alligators,  which  were  plentiful  in  the  river.  At  the 
Tonicas  Father  Davion  celebrated  mass  for  the  travelers. 
It  was  he  who  had  given  his  name  to  the  bluff  called 
Roche  a  Davion,  where,  later,  Fort  Adams  was  estab- 

At  a  distance  of  eighty  leagues  from  New  Orleans 
was  Fort  Rosalie,  on  a  bluff,  or  ecore,  two  hundred  feet 
high.  At  a  thousand  steps  from  the  fort  Le  Page  bought 
from  one  of  the  Natchez  Indians  a  cabin  and  a  piece  of 


cleared  ground.  His  men  built  a  cabin  near  his,  and 
they  were  lodged,  says  he,  like  the  wood-cutters  in  France 
when  they  are  working  in  the  forests.  He  was  soon  on 
very  good  terms  with  the  Indians,  and  was  cured  of  sci- 
atica by  a  jongleur — a  medicine-man. 

The  limits  of  Louisiana  as  given  by  Le  Page,  are 
important.  They  have  often  been  quoted  in  boundary 
discussions.  "  Louisiana,"  says  he,  "  situate  in  the 
northern  part  of  America,  is  bounded  on  the  south  by 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  on  the  east  by  Carolina,  English  col- 
ony, and  by  part  of  Canada,  on  the  west  by  New  Mexico, 
on  the  north  in  part  by  Canada:  the  rest  has  no  bounda- 
ries, and  extends  as  far  as  the  unknown  lands  bordering 
on  Hudson  Bay.  It  is  given  a  breadth  of  about  two  hun- 
dred leagues,  between  the  Spanish  and  the  English  set- 
tlements, its  length  is  indeterminate,  since  it  is  unknown : 
however,  the  source  of  the  river  St.  Louis  will  give  us 
some  information  on  that  subject." 

The  climate  of  Louisiana,  according  to  Le  Page,  is 
different  from  that  of  other  countries  in  the  same  lati- 
tude, the  southern  part  not  as  hot  as  in  Africa,  and  the 
northern  colder  than  in  Europe.  At  New  Orleans  the 
temperature  is  about  the  same  as  in  the  province  of 
Languedoc  in  France.  Life  is  long  and  agreeable  for 
people  who  do  not  give  themselves  up  to  debauchery,  and 
men  live  longer  in  Louisiana  than  in  France.  "  The  river 
St.  Louis  divides  this  colony  from  north  to  south  into 
two  parts  almost  equal.  The  first  who  discovered  it  from 
Canada,  named  it  the  Colbert,  to  do  honor  to  that  great 
minister  who  was  then  in  office;  it  is  named  by  some 

78  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [1722 

savages  of  the  north  Meact-Chassipi,  which  signifies  liter- 
ally Old  Father  of  Rivers,  out  of  which  the  French,  who 
wish  always  to  Frenchify  foreign  words,  have  made  Mis- 
sissippi; other  natives,  especially  on  the  lower  part  of 
the  river,  name  it  Balhancha;  finally  the  French  have 
named  it  River  St.  Louis."  The  journey  from  New  Or- 
leans to  Canada  is  made  hy  going  up  the  river  St.  Louis 
as  far  as  the  Ouabache  River,  called  by  some  Ohio ;  up 
the  latter  to  the  Miami  River,  where  there  is  a  portage 
of  two  leagues;  then  a  little  river  which  falls  into  Lake 
Erie,  where  the  pirogue  is  changed  for  a  bark  canoe  to 
go  down  the  St.  Lawrence  to  Quebec. 

The  waters  Avhich  come  out  of  the  St.  Louis  or  Missis- 
sippi River  never  go  back  to  the  river,  as  the  banks  are 
raised  by  the  trees  and  mud  that  the  river  carries,  and  the 
land  slopes  toward  the  woods.  The  coast  of  Louisiana  is 
bounded  on  the  west  by  the  bay  of  St.  Bernard,  where  La 
Salle  landed,  and  on  the  east  by  the  Rio  Perdido.  Lower 
Louisiana  is  alluvial  land,  and  one  century  is  sufficient 
to  extend  Louisiana  two  leagues  toward  the  sea. 

In  1721  Le  Page  went  to  New  Biloxi,  and  he  says  he 
never  could  gviess  why  they  had  chosen  that  place  for  the 
principal  establishment  of  the  colony,  and  why  they  had 
thought  of  building  the  capital  there.  The  land  is  sterile, 
and  it  is  exceedingly  difficult  to  unload  anything  from 
the  ships,  as  the  water  is  so  shallow  near  the  coast. 
While  at  Biloxi  Le  Page  saw  the  people  sent  by  Law 
to  establish  his  concession  at  the  Arkansas.  It  was  to 
be  four  leagues  square,  and  was  erected  into  a  duchy. 
There  were  equipments  for  a  company  of  dragoons,  and 

1799]  TRIBUTE  TO  ST.  DENIS  79 

goods  worth  more  than  a  million  livrcs,  and  the  conces- 
sion was  to  he  settled  by  fifteen  hundred  persons.  But 
Law  failed,  and  the  Company  of  the  Indies  took  posses- 
sion of  all  his  effects. 

Le  Page  gives  a  long  narrative  of  his  explorations 
in  the  interior  of  Louisiana,  and  becomes  poetic  when  he 
speaks  of  the  delightful  song  of  the  little  birds,  which 
vie  with  one  another  at  sunset  to  render  thanks  to  the 
Almighty,  who  has  procured  their  food  during  the  day 
and  has  protected  them  from  the  talons  of  the  birds  of 

In  his  description  of  Louisiana,  Le  Page  speaks  of  the 
post  at  Natchitoches  and  pays  a  beautiful  tribute  to  the 
commandant,  St.  Denis.  He  says  the  latter  deserved  to 
be  governor  of  the  whole  colony,  since  he  was  as  prudent 
an  administrator  as  he  was  a  brave  officer.  The  savages 
were  devoted  to  him,  and  at  a  sign  from  him  thirty  thou- 
sand warriors  would  have  assembled  to  serve  under  him. 
That  attachment  was  surprising,  if  we  consider  that 
most  of  the  Indians  devoted  to  St.  Denis  lived  in  the 
country  of  the  Spaniards,  who  had  erected  a  fort  distant 
only  seven  leagues  from  the  French  post. 

The  boats  used  by  the  natives  were  the  cajeu,  the  pi- 
rogue, and  the  canoe.  The  cajeux  were  made  of  cane 
tied  together,  then  crossed  double;  they  were  used  to 
cross  rivers,  as  they  could  be  made  in  a  very  short  time. 
The  pirogues  were  made  in  one  block,  from  the  trunks  of 
trees;  and  the  canoes  were  made  from  the  bark  of  the 
birch  tree.  In  colonial  times  all  these  boats  were  called 

80  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [»» 

The  list  of  the  Indian  tribes  in  Louisiana  given  by  Le 
Page  is  interesting  and  important.  In  the  vicinity  of 
Mobile  was  a  branch  of  the  great  tribe  of  the  Apalaches ; 
north  of  them  were  the  Alibamons ;  east  of  the  Alibamons, 
the  Caouitas,  to  whose  chief  Bienville  had  given  the  title 
of  Emperor,  which  was  not  recognized  by  the  neighbor- 
ing tribes.  North  of  the  Alibamons  were  the  Abeikas  or 
Conchacs,  whose  neighbors  on  the  east  were  the  Chera- 
quis  (Cherokees).  All  these  nations  and  a  few  smaller 
ones  had  formed  an  alliance  against  the  Iroquois.  The 
tribes  on  the  Mobile  River  were  the  Chatots,  near  Fort 
Louis  of  Mobile;  the  Thomez;  the  Taensas,  who  are  a 
branch  of  the  Natchez  and  who  preserve  a  perpetual  fire 
guarded  by  men;  and  the  Mobilians,  near  the  mouth  of 
the  river.  West  of  Mobile  were  the  Pachca-Ogoulas, 
"  nation  of  bread,"  called  by  the  French  Pascagoulas. 
North  of  the  latter  were  the  Chat-kas  (Choctaws) ,  called 
by  the  French  Chactas,  or  "  flatheads."  They  were  very 
numerous,  but  not  very  warlike.  Different  from  the 
Chat-kas  were  the  warlike  Tchicachas  (Chickasaws). 
Near  Lake  Pontchartrain,  called  St.  Louis  by  Le  Page, 
were  the  Colapissas.  On  the  east  bank  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, twenty  leagues  from  New  Orleans,  were  the  Ou- 
mas;  opposite  Red  River  were  the  Tunicas,  whose  chief 
was  so  friendly  to  the  French  that  the  King  had  given 
him  the  title  of  Brigadier  of  the  Red  Armies,  and  had 
sent  him  a  cane  with  a  gold  head,  and  a  blue  ribbon  with 
a  medal  representing  on  one  side  the  marriage  of  the 
King,  and  on  the  other  the  city  of  Paris.  The  great  tribe 
of  the  Natchez  came  next.    The  tradition  was  that  they 

n?3]  INDIAN  TRIBES  81 

had  been  the  most  powerful  nation  in  North  America, 
but  in  1720,  together  with  the  Grigras  and  the  Thioux 
who  dwelt  among  them,  they  could  raise  only  twelve 
hundred  warriors.  On  the  Yazoo  River  were  the  Ya- 
zoux  "  (Yazoos),  the  Chactchi-Oumas  (the  "  Red  Craw- 
fish "),  the  Tapoussas,  the  Coroas;  and  near  the  Yazoo, 
the  Oufe-Ogoulas.  These  five  little  tribes  joined  the  na- 
tion of  the  Chickasaws  after  the  Natchez  massacre.  North 
of  the  Ouabache  River  (Ohio)  were  the  Illinois,  com- 
prising the  tribes  of  the  Tamaroas,  the  Caskasquias,  the 
Caoukias,  the  Pimiteouis,  and  a  few  others.  The  Illinois 
were  always  faithful  allies  of  the  French.  To  the  north 
were  the  Renards  (Foxes)  and  the  Sioux,  who  were 
known  only  by  reports  of  the  travelers.  The  tribes  west 
of  the  Mississippi  were  the  Ouachas,  the  Tchitimachas 
(Chetimachas),  the  Atac-Apas  (Attakapas)— men-eat- 
ers j  the  Bayoux-Ogoulas  (Bayagoulas),  the  Oque-Lous- 
sas,  the  Avoyels,  the  Natchitoches,  the  Cadodaquioux,  the 
Ouachitas,  the  Arkansas,  the  Kappas,  the  Mitchigamias. 
Near  the  Missouri  River  were  the  Osages,  the  Missouris, 
the  Canchez,  the  Othouez,  the  White  Panis,  the  Black 
Panis,  the  Panimahas,  the  Aiaouez,  and  the  Padoucas, 
who  were  the  most  numerous.  The  Sioux  were  said  to 
reside  on  both  sides  of  the  Mississippi. 

While  Le  Page  was  at  New  Biloxi  in  1721  he  met  Fa- 
ther Charlevoix,  and  they  went  to  New  Orleans  together. 
The  description  that  our  author  gives,  at  a  later  period, 
of  the  new  town  is  about  the  same  as  that  in  Dumont's 
Memoirs.  In  1726  Le  Page  accepted  the  place  of  mana- 
ger or  overseer  of  the  plantation  of  the  Company  of  the 




Indies,  which  after  a  few  years  hecame  the  plantation 
of  the  King.  It  was  near  New  Orleans.  In  1734  the 
government  got  rid  of  the  plantation,  which  was  said 
to  cost  ten  thousand  livres  a  year.  Le  Page  pretends  that 
the  plantation  was  an  economy  to  the  King  of  fifty  thou- 
sand livres  a  year.  He  returned  to  France  in  1734.  His 
hook,  although  written  with  some  prolixity  and  contain- 
ing some  extraordinary  stories,  is  one  of  the  most  interest- 
ing concerning  the  early  history  of  Louisiana. 


Abstracts  of  the  most  important  Royal  Orders, 

Regulations,  and  Edicts  concerning 

Louisiana,  from  1719  to  1729 

Forbids  governors,  etc.,  to  possess  plantations— Forbids  vagabonds  and 
criminals  to  be  sent  to  Louisiana— About  foreign  commerce— About  carry- 
ing swords— About  firing  cannon  in  harbors  of  colonies— About  redemption- 
ers— About  sailors  deserting  — About  games  of  chance— Edict  concerning 
negro  slaves,  known  as  the  "Black  Code"— About  killing  of  cattle— About 
opening  letters — About  landing  slaves — About  the  punishment  of  desert- 
ers—About military  crimes  and  offenses  — About  exclusion  of  foreign  com- 
merce—Regulations for  hospitals. 

November  7, 1719. 

ORBIDS  governors,  lieutenant-gen- 
erals, and  intendants  in  the  colony  to 
possess  plantations.  They  are  al- 
lowed to  have  vegetable-gardens. 

May  9, 1 720.  The  King  being  in- 
formed that  the  Company  of  the 
Indies  is  in  a  condition  to  attend 

to  the  cultivation  of  the  lands  of  Louisiana,  by  means 
of  negroes  that  it  furnishes  to  the  colonists;  that,  be- 
sides, a  number  of  families,  French  and  foreign,  offer 
to  settle  in  the  concessions  granted  to  different  in- 
dividuals; that  the  grantees  of  the  concessions  refuse 
to  take   charge   of  the   vagabonds   and  criminals   who 


84  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [1720 

have  been  condemned  to  serve  in  the  colony,  because 
they  are  lazy  people  and  of  bad  morals,  less  fit  to 
work  than  to  corrupt  the  other  colonists,  and  even  the 
natives,  who  are  a  nation  gentle,  docile,  industrious, 
laborious,  and  friendly  to  the  French ;  and  that  the  vaga- 
bonds and  criminals  may  be  more  usefully  employed  in 
the  other  colonies,  on  account  of  the  larger  number  of 
Frenchmen  who  inhabit  there, — it  is  ordered  that  no  more 
vagabonds,  forgers,  and  criminals  be  sent  to  Louisiana, 
and  the  judges  are  forbidden  to  condemn  any  such  peo- 
ple to  be  sent  to  Louisiana. 

July  23,  1720.  The  King,  being  informed  that  for- 
eign commerce  continues  in  some  of  his  colonies,  in  spite 
of  his  prohibition,  orders  all  commanders  of  his  vessels 
to  pursue  and  capture  any  vessel,  whether  French  or 
foreign,  attending  to  foreign  commerce  in  his  colonies  of 
America,  and  to  take  the  vessel  to  the  nearest  island. 
All  subjects  of  His  Majesty  are  permitted  to  do  the 

July  23, 1720.  Forbids  all  persons  who  are  not  officers 
to  carry  a  sword  when  they  reside  in  the  towns  of  the 
colonies.  The  prohibition  does  not  apply  to  officers  of 
merchant  vessels. 

'April  8,  1721.  His  Majesty,  having  been  informed 
that  the  captains  of  merchant  vessels  fire  cannon  very 
often  in  the  harbors  of  the  colonies,  especially  of  Fort 
Royal,  and  St.  Peter  of  Martinique,  when  they  have 
festivals  among  themselves  or  when  they  wish  to  salute 
some  persons  who  go  on  board  their  ships,  which  causes 
useless  expense  to  the  ship-owners,  and  occasions  often 


the  capture  of  these  vessels,  because  they  do  not  have 
enough  powder  left  to  defend  themselves  against  cor- 
sairs; being  informed  also  that  these  salutes,  from  want 
of  precaution,  cause  accidents  to  the  cannoneers;  and 
that,  besides  these  inconveniences,  the  volleys  fired  during 
the  night  serve  only  to  cause  alarm  in  the  colonies, — it  is 
expressly  forbidden  to  fire  a  single  cannon,  under  any 
pretext,  in  the  harbors  of  the  French  colonies,  unless 
as  a  signal  of  distress  or  other  necessity,  without  the  ex- 
press permission  of  the  officer  of  the  King  commanding 
in  the  places  where  the  ships  will  be  anchored,  under 
penalty  of  a  fine  of  one  hundred  livres  for  the  first  of- 
fense and  of  double  that  amount  if  the  offense  is  re- 

May  20,  1721.  An  ordinance  of  November  16,  1716, 
relating  to  redemptioners  is  re-affirmed.  "  Vessels,  leav- 
ing the  kingdom  for  any  of  the  King's  American  colonies, 
were  directed  to  carry  thither,  if  under  sixty  tons,  four, 
and  if  above,  six  redemptioners,  whose  period  of  service 
was  fixed  at  three  years.  They  were  required  to  be  able- 
bodied,  between  the  ages  of  seventeen  and  forty,  and 
in  size  not  under  four  feet.  It  was  provided  that  the 
redemptioners,  whom  the  captain  might  not  sell,  should 
be  given  by  the  governor  to  some  of  the  planters  who 
had  not  any,  and  who  were  to  pay  their  passage."  The 
ordinance  of  1721  allows  merchants  of  the  ports  that 
have  permission  to  trade  with  the  colonies  to  pay  sixty 
livres  for  each  redemptioner  whom  they  had  to  furnish, 
if  individuals  for  that  purpose  were  not  furnished  them 
by  the  government. 

86  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [1722 

December  23,  1721.  Orders  that  sailors  who  shall  be 
found  in  the  colonies  after  the  departure  of  their  ships 
be  imprisoned  until  they  can  be  sent  back  to  France  in 
ships  that  do  not  have  enough  sailors. 

December  15,  1722.  His  Majesty  having  been  in- 
formed that,  in  spite  of  his  ordinances  concerning  games 
of  chance,  several  inhabitants  and  other  individuals  of 
the  French  islands  and  colonies  of  America,  even  mer- 
chants from  France,  and  their  agents,  play  games  of 
chance,  of  which  the  unjust  inequality  excites  frequent 
quarrels  among  the  players,  gives  rise  to  odious  usury, 
and  causes  the  ruin  of  several  families,  by  leading  young 
men  into  debauchery, — with  the  advice  of  the  Duke  of 
Orleans,  Regent,  His  Majesty  expressly  forbids  all  per- 
sons,of  whatever  condition, to  play  or  to  allowto  be  played 
in  their  houses,  games  of  bassette,  pharaon,  lansquenet, 
hoca,  quinquenove,  beriby,  dice,  and  other  games  of 
chance ;  also  forbids  innkeepers  and  others  to  allow  gam- 
bling in  their  houses.  The  penalty  was  a  fine  of  five  hun- 
dred livres  for  the  first  offense,  and  more  if  repeated. 
One  fourth  of  the  fine  was  to  be  paid  to  the  informer,  or, 
in  his  default,  to  public  works;  one  fourth  to  the  near- 
est hospital,  and  the  other  half  to  public  works.  An 
ordinance  issued  by  Philip  of  Orleans  against  gamblers 
is  a  curious  thing.  It  is  also  curious  to  see  the  names  of 
the  games  of  chance  in  1722. 

In  March,  1724,  the  King  issued  at  Versailles  an 
"  Edict  concerning  the  negro  slaves  in  Louisiana." 
This  is  generally  known  as  the  "  Black  Code,"  which 
remained  in  force  in  colonial  times,  and  of  which  some 

ir«i]  THE  BLACK  CODE  87 

of  the  provisions  were  incorporated  into  the  code  of 
American  Lonisiana.  The  edict,1  according  to  the  official 
certificate  of  Rossard,  clerk  of  the  Superior  Council,  was 
read,  recorded,  and  published  in  New  Orleans  on  Sep- 
tember 10,  1724.  The  preamble  to  this  edict  is  given  here 
in  full,  to  show  the  forms  of  such  documents. 

Louis,  by  the  Grace  of  God,  King  of  France  and  of  Navarre, 
to  all  present  and  to  come,  greeting.  The  Directors  of  the  Com- 
pany of  the  Indies  having  represented  to  us  that  the  Province  and 
colon}'  of  Louisiana  is  considerably  established,  by  a  large  number 
of  our  subjects,  who  use  slaves  for  the  cultivation  of  the  lands,  We 
have  judged  that  it  behooves  our  authority  and  our  justice,  for  the 
preservation  of  this  colony,  to  establish  there  a  law,  and  certain 
rules,  to  maintain  there  the  discipline  of  the  Catholic  Apostolic 
and  Roman  Church,  and  to  order  about  what  concerns  the  state 
and  condition  of  the  slaves  in  the  said  Islands,2  and  desiring  to 
provide  for  this,  and  to  make  known  to  our  subjects  who  inhabit 
there  and  who  shall  settle  there  in  the  future,  that  although  they 
inhabit  climes  infinitely  remote,  We  are  always  present,  by  the 
extent  of  our  power  and  by  our  application  to  succor  them.  Actu- 
ated by  these  causes  and  others,  by  the  advice  of  our  Council, 
and  by  our  certain  knowledge,  full  power  and  Royal  authority, 
We  have  said,  decreed,  and  ordered,  We  say,  decree,  and  order, 
wish  and  it  pleases  us,  the  following. 

Article  I  orders  that  the  edict  of  1615  be  applied  to 
Louisiana,  and  that  all  Jews  who  may  have  established 
their  religion  there  be  expelled  within  three  months,  un- 
der penalty  of  confiscation  of  body  and  property. 

Article  II  orders  that  all  slaves  in  the  province  be 
instructed  and  baptized  in  the  Catholic  religion. 

88  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [iiu 

Article  III  forbids  the  exercise  of  any  other  religion 
than  the  Catholic. 

Article  IV  forbids  the  employment  of  any  overseer 
who  shall  not  be  a  Catholic,  under  penalty  of  confisca- 
tion of  the  negroes  and  punishment  of  the  overseer. 

Article  V  orders  Sundays  and  holidays  to  be  regu- 
larly observed,  and  forbids  all  work  by  masters  or  slaves, 
under  penalty  of  confiscation  of  slaves  and  punishment 
of  masters.    The  slaves,  however,  may  be  sent  marketing. 

Article  VI  forbids  marriage  of  whites  with  slaves, 
and  concubinage  of  whites  and  manumitted  or  free-born 
blacks  with  slaves,  and  imposes  penalties. 

Article  VII  orders  to  be  observed,  for  marriages  of 
free  persons  as  well  as  of  slaves,  the  solemnities  of  the 
ordinance  of  Blois  and  of  the  edict  of  1639.  The  con- 
sent of  the  parents  of  the  slave  is  not  necessary,  but  only 
that  of  the  master. 

Article  VIII  forbids  curates  to  celebrate  marriages 
of  slaves  without  consent  of  the  masters,  and  forbids  mas- 
ters to  force  their  slaves  to  marry  against  their  will. 

Article  IX  enacts  that  children  born  from  the  mar- 
riages of  slaves  shall  belong  to  the  master  of  the  mother. 

Article  X  enacts  that  if  the  husband  be  a  slave  and 
the  wife  a  free  woman,  the  children  shall  be  free  like  their 
mother.  If  the  husband  be  free  and  the  wife  a  slave,  the 
children  shall  be  slaves. 

Article  XI  orders  that  masters  shall  have  baptized 
slaves  buried  in  consecrated  ground;  those  who  die  with- 
out being  baptized  to  be  buried  at  night  in  a  neighboring 

IW4]  THE   BLACK   CODE  89 

Article  XII  forbids  slaves  to  carry  offensive  wea- 
pons or  heavy  sticks,  under  penalty  of  the  whip  and 
confiscation  of  the  weapons  in  favor  of  the  person  seiz- 
ing them.  Slaves  that  are  sent  hunting  by  their  masters, 
and  carry  notes  or  known  marks,  are  excepted. 

Article  XIII  forbids  slaves  belonging  to  different 
masters  to  assemble  in  crowds,  by  day  or  by  night,  under 
pretext  of  weddings  or  other  causes,  either  at  one  of 
their  masters  or  elsewhere,  and  still  less  on  the  highways 
or  secluded  places,  under  penalty  of  corporal  punish- 
ment, which  shall  not  be  less  than  the  whip  and  the  fleur- 
de-lys ;  and  in  case  of  repetition  of  the  offense  and  other 
aggravating  circumstances,  capital  punishment  may  be 
applied,  at  the  discretion  of  the  judges.  It  also  com- 
mands all  subjects  of  the  King,  whether  officers  or  not,  to 
seize  and  arrest  the  offenders  and  conduct  them  to  prison, 
although  there  be  no  judgment  against  them. 

Article  XIV  condemns  to  damages  and  a  fine  of 
thirty  livres  for  the  first  time,  and  double  that  amount  for 
repetition  of  the  offense,  masters  who  shall  be  convicted 
of  having  permitted  or  tolerated  such  assemblies. 

Article  XV  forbids  slaves  to  sell  commodities,  pro- 
visions, or  produce  of  any  kind,  without  express  written 
permission  from  their  masters,  or  known  marks.  The 
purchasers  shall  pay  a  fine  of  six  livres  for  fruit,  vege- 
tables, timber,  fodder,  and  seeds,  and  fifteen  hundred 
livres  for  merchandise  and  clothes.  They  shall  lose  the 
price  of  the  articles,  and  shall  be  prosecuted  as  receivers 
of  stolen  goods. 

Article  XVI  provides  for  examination  in  each  mar- 

90  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [im 

ket  of  goods  brought  by  the  slaves  and  of  the  written  per- 
missions and  marks  of  their  masters. 

Article  XVII  orders  seizure  of  goods  that  are  of- 
fered for  sale  by  slaves  without  permission  or  mark. 

Article  XVIII  orders  officers  of  the  Superior  Coun- 
cil to  give  their  advice  about  the  provisions  and  the  food 
to  be  furnished  the  slaves.  It  also  forbids  masters  to 
give  any  kind  of  brandy  in  lieu  of  food  and  clothing. 

Article  XIX  forbids  masters  to  abstain  from  feed- 
ing and  clothing  their  slaves,  by  permitting  them  to  work 
for  their  own  account  on  a  certain  day  of  the  week. 

Article  XX  authorizes  slaves  to  give  information 
against  their  masters,  if  not  properly  fed  or  clad,  or  if 
treated  inhumanly. 

Article  XXI  orders  slaves  disabled  from  working, 
by  old  age,  sickness,  or  otherwise,  to  be  provided  for  by 
their  masters,  otherwise  they  shall  be  sent  to  the  nearest 
hospital,  to  which  the  masters  shall  pay  eight  cents  a  day 
for  each  slave,  and  the  hospital  shall  have  a  lien  on  the 
plantations  of  the  masters. 

Article  XXII  declares  that  slaves  can  have  no- 
thing that  does  not  belong  to  their  masters,  in  whatever 
way  acquired. 

Article  XXIII  orders  that  masters  be  held  respon- 
sible for  what  their  slaves  have  done  by  their  command. 

Article  XXIV  forbids  slaves  from  exercising  pub- 
lic functions,  from  serving  as  arbitrators  or  experts,  from 
giving  testimony  except  in  default  of  white  people,  and 
from  ever  serving  as  witnesses  for  or  against  their  mas- 

17*4]  THE   BLACK   CODE  91 

Article  XXV  forbids  slaves  from  being  parties  to 
civil  suits  or  complainants  in  criminal  cases.  Their  mas- 
ters shall  act  for  them  in  civil  cases  and  demand  repara- 
tion or  punishment  for  outrages  and  excesses  committed 
against  them. 

Article  XXVI  orders  prosecution  of  slaves  in  crim- 
inal cases  in  the  same  manner  as  for  free  persons,  with 
exceptions  hereafter  mentioned. 

Article  XXVII.  Any  slave  who  shall  have  struck 
his  master,  his  mistress,  or  the  husband  of  his  mistress, 
or  their  children,  so  as  to  produce  a  bruise  or  shedding 
of  blood  in  the  face,  shall  be  put  to  death. 

Article  XXVIII.  Outrages  or  acts  of  violence 
against  free  persons  committed  by  slaves  shall  be  pun- 
ished with  severity,  and  even  with  death  if  the  case  re- 
quire it. 

Article  XXIX.  Important  thefts,  even  the  stealing 
of  horses,  mares,  mules,  oxen,  or  cows,  committed  by 
slaves  or  manumitted  persons,  shall  make  the  offender 
liable  to  corporal  punishment,  and  even  to  capital  punish- 
ment, according  to  the  circumstances. 

Article  XXX.  Thefts  of  sheep,  goats,  hogs,  poultry, 
grain,  fodder,  peas,  beans,  or  other  vegetables  and  pro- 
visions, committed  by  slaves,  shall  be  punished  accord- 
ing to  the  kind  of  theft,  and  the  judges  may  sentence 
them  to  be  whipped  by  the  public  executioner  and  branded 
with  the  fleur-de-lys. 

Article  XXXI.  Masters  shall  be  bound,  besides  the 
corporal  punishment  inflicted  on  their  slaves,  to  repair 
the  harm  done,  unless  they  prefer  to  abandon  the  slaves 

92  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [itm 

to  the  sufferer,  and  they  shall  make  this  choice  within 
three  days  after  the  conviction  of  the  slaves. 

Article  XXXII.  Any  runaway  slave  who  shall  con- 
tinue to  be  so  for  one  month  from  the  day  his  master 
shall  have  denounced  him,  shall  have  his  ears  cut  and  be 
branded  with  a  fleur-de-lys  on  one  shoulder.  For  a 
second  offense  he  shall  be  hamstrung  and  branded  on  the 
other  shoulder.    For  a  third  offense  he  shall  suffer  death. 

Article  XXXIII  refers  to  trials  and  appeals  to  the 
Superior  Council. 

Article  XXXIV.  Freed  or  free-born  negroes  who 
shall  have  given  refuge  to  fugitive  slaves  shall  pay  thirty 
livres  for  each  day  of  retention,  to  the  masters  of  the 
slaves,  and  other  free  persons  ten  livres  a  day.  If  the 
freed  or  free-born  negroes  are  not  able  to  pay  the  fine, 
they  shall  be  reduced  to  the  condition  of  slaves  and  sold 
as  such. 

Article  XXXV  gives  permission  to  make  searches 
for  fugitive  slaves. 

Article  XXXVI.  Any  slave  condemned  to  death  on 
the  denunciation  of  his  master,  who  is  not  accomplice  to 
the  crime,  shall  be  appraised  by  two  of  the  principal  in- 
habitants specially  appointed  by  the  judge,  and  the 
amount  shall  be  paid  to  the  master.  To  raise  this  sum,  a 
tax  shall  be  laid  on  every  slave. 

Article  XXXVII.  All  officers  of  justice  are  forbid- 
den to  receive  fees  in  criminal  suits  against  slaves. 

Article  XXXVIII  forbids  the  application  of  the 
rack  to  slaves,  under  any  pretext,  on  private  authority, 
or  mutilation  of  a  limb,  under  penalty  of  confiscation 
of  the  slaves  and  of  criminal  prosecution  of  the  masters. 

W84]  THE  BLACK  CODE  93 

The  latter  are  allowed  only,  when  they  believe  that  their 
slaves  have  deserved  it,  to  put  them  in  irons  and  to  have 
them  whipped  with  rods  or  ropes. 

Article  XXXIX  commands  officers  of  justice  to 
prosecute  masters  and  overseers  who  shall  have  killed  or 
mutilated  slaves,  and  to  punish  the  murder  according  to 
the  atrocity  of  the  circumstances.  In  case  the  offense 
shall  be  pardonable,  the  officers  are  permitted  to  pardon 
the  masters  and  overseers  without  being  obliged  to  obtain 
letters  patent  of  pardon. 

Article  XL.  Slaves  are  considered  movables,  exempt 
from  seizure  under  mortgage,  to  be  equally  divided 
among  co-heirs. 

Articles  XLI  and  XLII  refer  to  judicial  forms 
and  proceedings. 

Article  XLIII.  Husbands  and  wives,  and  their  chil- 
dren under  the  age  of  puberty,  shall  not  be  seized  and 
sold  separately  when  belonging  to  the  same  master. 

Article  XLIV  refers  to  seizure  of  slaves  for  debt. 

Articles  XLV  to  XLIX  refer  to  certain  judicial  pro- 

Article  L.  Masters  aged  twenty-five  years  shall  have 
the  power  to  manumit  their  slaves.  As,  however,  there 
may  be  mercenary  masters  to  set  a  price  on  the  liberation 
of  their  slaves,  which  leads  the  slaves  to  commit  thefts 
or  deeds  of  plunder,  no  person  shall  be  permitted  to  free 
his  slaves  without  obtaining  from  the  Superior  Council 
a  permission  to  that  effect. 

Article  LI.  Slaves  appointed  by  their  masters  tutors 
to  their  children  shall  be  held  as  having  been  set  free. 

Article  LII.     All  manumitted  slaves  and  all  free- 




born  negroes  are  prohibited  from  receiving  gifts  from 

Article  LIII.  Manumitted  slaves  are  commanded 
to  show  great  respect  to  their  former  masters,  their  wid- 
ows and  their  children,  and  any  injury  done  them  shall 
be  punished  more  severely  than  if  it  had  been  done  to 
any  other  person.  They  are  exempt,  however,  from  all 
duties  and  services,  taxes  and  fees,  which  their  former 
masters  might  claim  from  them. 

Article  LIV.  Manumitted  slaves  shall  enjoy  the 
same  rights,  privileges,  and  immunities  that  are  enjoyed 
by  free-born  persons.  "  It  is  our  pleasure  that  their 
merit  in  having  acquired  their  freedom  shall  produce  in 
their  favor,  not  only  with  regard  to  their  persons,  but 
also  to  their  property,  the  same  effects  that  our  other  sub- 
jects derive  from  the  happy  circumstances  of  their  hav- 
ing been  born  free." 

Article  LV.  Fines  and  confiscations  that  have  no 
particular  destination  are  to  be  paid  to  the  Company  of 
the  Indies,  except  one  third  to  the  nearest  hospital. 

The  edict  ends  with  these  words:  "For  such  is  our 

May  20, 1724.  Declares  that  as,  in  spite  of  the  decree 
of  the  Superior  Council  of  Louisiana,  dated  April  29, 
1723,  forbidding  the  killing  or  wounding  of  cattle,  under 
penalty  of  a  fine  of  fifteen  hundred  livres,  it  happens 
daily  that  soldiers  and  vagabonds  kill  and  destroy  the 
cattle  of  the  planters,  and  as  it  is  of  very  great  impor- 
tance to  prevent  the  destruction  of  cattle  in  a  colony  that 
is  not  entirely  established,  and  to  provide,  at  the  same 

it,'-]  DESERTERS  95 

time,  the  means  of  multiplying  the  species, — all  persons, 
whatever  he  their  rank  or  condition,  are  forbidden  to 
kill  or  wound  cattle  belonging  to  other  persons,  under 
penalty  of  death.  It  is  also  forbidden  to  any  inhabitant 
to  kill  any  cows,  ewes,  and  females  of  domestic  animals 
necessary  to  the  planters,  under  a  fine  of  three  hundred 
livres  for  the  first  offense,  and  six  hundred  livres  and 
three  months  imprisonment  if  the  offense  is  repeated. 

May  20,  1724.  Forbids  intercepting  and  opening  let- 
ters and  packages,  and  imposes  a  penalty. 

July  25,  1724-  Forbids  captains  of  slave-ships  to  sell 
or  buy  any  negro  before  health  inspection  is  made  and 
permission  to  land  the  negro  given,  under  penalty  of  a 
fine  of  one  thousand  livres  to  be  paid  the  informer. 

September  24, 1724-  Extends  for  one  year  permission 
granted  to  the  French  merchants  trading  with  the  French 
colonies  of  America  to  import  from  foreign  countries 
lard,  butter,  tallow,  candles,  and  salted  salmon,  without 
paying  duties. 

January  26,  1727.  Orders  that  deserters  from  the 
troops  of  the  Company  of  the  Indies  be  punished  m  the 
same  manner  as  deserters  from  the  troops  of  the  King. 
The  punishments  were  as  follows:  When  two  deserters 
shall  be  arrested  together,  or  two  taken  to  a  place  on  the 
same  day,  they  shall  be  put  to  death  without  remission; 
but  if  there  be  more  than  two,  in  order  to  avoid  the  effu- 
sion of  blood,  His  Majesty  wishes  that,  after  they  have 
been  condemned  to  death,  they  shall  draw  lots,  three  by 
three,  to  decide  which  one  shall  be  put  to  death,  and  the 
two  others  shall  be  condemned  to  the  galleys  for  life. 

96  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [itss 

Those  soldiers,  however,  who  are  convicted  of  desertion 
while  on  guard  duty  shall  be  put  to  death,  whatever  be 
their  number.  All  horsemen,  dragoons,  or  soldiers  de- 
serting into  foreign  countries  shall  be  hanged,  whatever 
be  their  number. 

July  lj  1727.  In  the  ordinance  concerning  military 
crimes  and  offenses,  the  punishment  prescribed  for  al- 
most every  offense  is  death  by  shooting,  hanging,  or 
breaking  on  the  wheel;  for  blasphemy,  the  tongue  is  to 
be  pierced  with  a  hot  iron;  the  death  penalty  or  galleys 
for  life  for  stealing  in  the  barracks  clothes  or  bread. 
This  extraordinary  severity  was  not  confined  to  France 
alone,  but  was  general  in  Europe  at  that  time. 

The  edict  of  October,  1727,  and  the  declaration  of  the 
King  of  November  10,  1727,  rigidly  excluded  foreign 
commerce  from  the  French  colonies.  The  only  exception 
was  salt  meat  from  Ireland,  which  was  allowed  to  be  in- 
troduced into  the  colonies. 

January  1, 1729.  Some  of  the  articles  of  a  regulation 
for  the  hospitals  of  the  King's  troops  appear  very  curi- 
ous to  us.  The  physician  shall  visit  the  patients  every 
day.  He  shall  be  accompanied  by  an  assistant  to  the 
surgeon,  who  shall  write  down  the  bleedings  ordered  and 
the  regimen.  An  apothecary  and  nurses  shall  accompany 
the  physician,  to  report  to  him  the  effects  of  the  drugs 
and  anything  that  may  have  happened  to  the  patients. 
The  physician,  as  well  as  the  surgeon,  shall  taste  the 
soup  and  the  wine,  shall  see  the  meat  and  the  bread,  and 
shall  forbid  that  any  fruit  be  given  the  patients  or 
any  food  unfit  for  them.     The  physician  shall  visit  the 

1799]  HOSPITALS  97 

pharmacy  from  time  to  time,  to  examine  the  quality  and 
quantity  of  the  drugs.  The  surgeon  shall  oblige  all  his 
aides  to  sleep  in  the  hospital,  and  if  he  lodges  there  he 
shall  visit  their  room  to  see  if  they  are  there.  If  there 
is  an  assistant  surgeon,  he  shall  attend  to  this.  No  sol- 
dier shall  be  permitted  to  make  a  will  in  favor  of  the  offi- 
cers of  the  hospital  where  he  shall  be,  not  even  in  favor 
of  the  chaplain  or  of  the  latter's  convent  under  pre- 
text of  pious  legacy.  All  the  officers  of  the  hospital 
shall  see  to  it  that  none  of  the  patients  or  attendants  shall 
blaspheme,  curse,  or  use  improper  words. 



New  Orleans  in  its  beginning— War  with  the  Natchez-— Bienville's  recall  to 
France— His  services— Early  censuses— Notice  of  Dubreuil— Governor 
Perier— The  Ursulines— New  Orleans  as  seen  by  Sister  Madeleine  Hachard — 
The  first  residence  of  the  Ursulines —The  convent— The  ecclesiastical  juris- 
dictions—The Capuchins  and  the  Jesuits— The  currency— Progress  of  the 
colony— The  early  population  of  Louisiana— Massacre  by  the  Natchez— The 
Yazoos  join  the  Natchez— The  Choctaws  remain  faithful  to  the  French— 
Loubois  attacks  the  Natchez— The  Natchez  routed  by  St.  Denis— The  Tu- 
nicas—Plot of  the  negroes— Governor  Perier  attacks  the  Natchez— The  last 
stand  of  the  Natchez -Ruin  of  the  Natchez. 

UMONT,  who  was  twenty-two  years 
in  Louisiana,  has  given  such  an  in- 
teresting account  of  New  Orleans  in 
its  beginning  that  we  shall  quote 
freely  from  his  Memoirs.  He  says : ' 
"  The  Sieur  de  la  Tour  had  no  sooner 
arrived  at  this  place— which  then 
consisted  only  of  a  few  unimportant  houses,  scattered 
here  and  there,  and  which  had  been  formed  by  some 
travelers  who  had  come  down  from  the  Illinois — than 
he  caused  to  be  cleared  along  the  river  quite  a  large  space, 
in  order  that  he  might  put  in  execution  the  plan  he  had 
projected;  then,  with  the  help  of  some  piqueurs,  he 
traced  on  the  ground  the  streets  and  the  quarters  that 


1793]  NEW  ORLEANS  99 

were  to  compose  the  new  town,  and  announced  that  all 
who  wished  to  have  building-lots  should  present  their 
petitions  to  the  Council.  They  gave  to  each  settler  who 
appeared  ten  toises  2  front  by  twenty  deep,  and  as  each 
quarter  was  fifty  toises  square,  it  is  understood  that  there 
must  have  been  in  each  twelve  inhabitants,  of  whom 
the  two  in  the  middle  had  ten  toises  front  by  twenty- 
five  deep.  It  was  ordered  that  those  who  should  obtain 
some  of  these  lots  should  be  obliged  to  inclose  them  with 
palisades,  and  to  leave  all  round  a  vacant  space  at  least 
three  feet  wide,  at  the  foot  of  which  a  ditch  should  be 
dug  to  serve  as  a  drain  to  the  waters  of  the  river  in  the 
season  of  inundation.  Not  only  did  the  Sieur  de  la  Tour 
believe  that  he  was  obliged  to  order  those  canals,  which 
communicate  from  quarter  to  quarter,  but  also,  to  protect 
the  city  from  inundation,  he  caused  to  be  erected  in  front, 
and  near  a  slight  elevation  that  leads  to  the  river,  a  dike 
or  levee  of  earth,  at  the  foot  of  which  he  dug  a  similar 
drain.  The  parish  church  of  New  Orleans  is  built  facing 
the  Place  d'Armes,  and  is  served  by  the  Reverend  Capu- 
chin Fathers;  one  of  them  is  vicar-general  of  the  Bishop 
of  Quebec.  At  some  distance  from  the  city  is  a  very  fine 
house,  where  reside  the  Reverend  Jesuit  Fathers.  It 
belonged  formerly  to  M.  de  Bienville,  commandant- 
general  in  the  country,  who  sold  it  to  them.  There  is  in 
this  city  a  Council,  which  meets  generally  on  Tuesdays 
and  Saturdays.  It  is  composed  of  six  councilors,  an 
attorney-general,  and  an  intendant  who  is  at  the  same 
time  commissaire  ordonnateur ;  also  a  clerk  and  a  secre- 
tary of  the  Council.    Lawsuits  are  settled  there  without 

100  A  HISTORY   OF  LOUISIANA         \vin 

attorneys  or  counselors,  and  consequently  without  ex- 
pense, on  the  pleadings  of  the  parties.  Finally,  this 
place,  which  in  the  beginning  was  hardly  a  good-sized  vil- 
lage, may  now  justly  be  called  a  city.  On  the  levee,  to 
the  left,  a  little  above  the  intendant's,  is  the  market,  and 
opposite  the  place,  near  the  storehouses,  is  the  anchorage 
for  vessels,  which  almost  touch  the  shore.  There  is  also 
a  prison  in  front  of  the  square,  and  beside  it  is  the  guard- 
house. The  powder-magazine  is  at  a  distance  from  the 
city,  not  to  be  exposed  to  fire.  In  a  word,  it  may  be  said 
that  nothing  is  lacking  to  this  capital  except  fortifica- 
tions, which  have  not  yet  been  begun.  Besides,  there 
are  very  fine  brick  houses,  and  a  very  large  number  of 
houses  four  and  five  stories  high."  Two  statements  in 
Dumont's  Memoirs  are  noticeable:  first,  that  when  the 
author  resided  in  New  Orleans  it  was  the  golden  age  of 
the  city,  when  lawsuits  were  settled  without  lawyers  and 
without  expense ;  second,  Dumont  says  there  were  at  that 
time  buildings  four  and  five  stories  high.  If  this  is  true, 
the  tradition  is  incorrect  which  says  that  the  first  four- 
story  house  built  in  New  Orleans  is  the  one  now  standing 
at  the  corner  of  Royal  and  St.  Peter  streets,  erected 
during  the  Spanish  domination. 

From  Dumont  and  Le  Page  du  Pratz  we  obtain  the 
best  account  of  the  war  with  the  Natchez  in  1723.  When 
this  tribe  of  Indians  again  committed  depredations  and 
murdered  some  Frenchmen,  Bienville  marched  against 
them  with  seven  hundred  soldiers.  He  attacked  the 
White  Apple  village  and  two  other  villages,  obtained 
from  chief  Stung  Serpent  the  head  of  the  chief  of  the 


1723]  EARLY  CENSUSES  101 

White  Apple  village,  and  that  of  a  free  negro  residing 
among  the  Natchez,  and  a  second  time  restored  quiet  to 
the  country.  His  administration,  so  far,  had  been  suc- 
cessful, and  he  had  shown  great  firmness  in  his  dealings 
with  the  Indians.  We  are,  therefore,  astonished  to  see 
him  recalled  to  France  in  1724.  Boisbriant  became  gov- 
ernor ad  interim. 

Bienville's  enemies  succeeded  in  bringing  about  his 
downfall.  His  services,  from  1698  to  1724,  had  been 
great.  Among  them  were  the  foundation  of  New  Or- 
leans and  the  transfer  of  the  seat  of  government  to 
that  town  in  1722,  and  his  efforts  to  provide  educa- 
tion for  the  people.  It  was  he  who  invited  the  Ursu- 
line  nuns  to  New  Orleans,  and  who  established  the  first 
girls'  school  and  the  first  hospital.  Shortly  before  the 
end  of  his  last  administration  he  asked  of  the  French 
government  the  establishment  of  a  Jesuits'  college 
for  boys  in  New  Orleans,  but  did  not  succeed  in  his 

The  following  statistics  are  copied  from  the  archives 
at  the  Ministry  of  the  Colonies  in  Paris : 

Census  of  New  Orleans,  November  24,  1721.  Recapitulation: 
Men,  446;  women,  140;  children,  96;  negro  slaves,  523;  Indian 
slaves,  51 ;  cattle,  233 ;  horses,  33. 

Census  of  New  Orleans  in  1723.  Recapitulation:  Men  bearing 
arms,  229;  women  or  girls,  169;  children,  183;  orphans,  45; 
slaves,  267 ;  horses,  14 ;  cattle,  267 ;  guns,  313 ;  pistols,  25. 

General  census  of  the  colony  of  Louisiana  on  January  1,  1726. 
Recapitulation:  Masters,  1952;  hired  men  and  servants,  276; 
negro  slaves,  1540;  Indian  slaves,  229. 


102         A  HISTORY   OF  LOUISIANA         [na* 

General  census  of  the  department  of  New  Orleans  on  July  1, 
1727.    Recapitulation: 

Masters    Hired    Negroes  Savages    Cattle     Horses    Hogs 

New  Orleans 729.  , 

The  Bayou  and  Chan- 

tilly 42. 

Inhabitants      up      the 

river  on  the  right .  .    243 . 

Idem  on  the  left 306. 

On  the  shore  of  Lake 

Pontchartrain   ....        7. 
On  Bayou  Tauchpao.        2. 




.   231. 

.   10. 

.   — 



.   5. 

.   214. 

.   27. 

.   75 




.   993. 





.    5. 

.   356. 

.   37. 

.   36 



a a 




.   1. 

— . 

.   — . 

,   — 

Totals 1329.  .138.  .1561.  .73.  .1794.  .181.  .514 

The  following  notice  of  Joseph  Dubreuil,  dated  1724, 
is  interesting: 

Claude  Joseph  Dubreuil,  aged  30  years,  native  of  Dijon,  came 
in  Comte  de  Toulouse  in  1719.  He  is  one  of  the  most  laborious 
and  most  intelligent  of  all  the  inhabitants.  He  understands 
mechanics,  and  is  of  all  trades.  His  lot  is  the  largest,  the  finest, 
and  the  best  cleared  in  the  colony.  He  has  been  the  first  to  make 
levees  and  deep  ditches  for  the  drainage  of  the  waters  in  the 
swamps,  to  keep  his  lands  dry.  He  gave  the  idea  and  made  him- 
self seven  to  eight  thousand  toises  of  canals,  besides  four  or  five 
thousand  toises  of  ditches.  He  has  a  large  house  with  two  wings 
which  serve  as  a  store,  which  he  is  completing  at  present.  He  has 
the  best  lodging  in  the  colony.     He  has  a  very  fine  view. 

As  a  confirmation  of  the  statement  that  Dubreuil  was 
the  first  that  made  levees  and  drainage  canals  in  Louisi- 


ana,  we  may  mention  a  letter  written  by  him  in  1740. 
He  speaks  of  the  canal  that  he  is  digging  at  his  own 
expense  near  Xew  Orleans,  and  he  asks  the  protection  of 
the  King  on  account  of  the  services  he  has  rendered  the 
colony  since  his  arrival  there  in  1719.  He  says:  "  The 
establishment  of  Xew  Orleans  in  the  beginning  was  aw- 
ful, the  river  when  it  was  high  spreading  over  the  whole 
ground,  and  in  all  the  houses  there  were  two  feet  of  water, 
which  caused  general  and  mortal  diseases.  As  I  was 
known  to  be  enterprising  and  not  capable  of  refusing 
a  service,  the  Directors  begged  me  to  make  the  levee,  and 
I  made  two  thirds  of  it  without  any  compensation,  and 
Xew  Orleans  was  out  of  inundation  and  as  dry  as  if  it 
had  been  built  on  a  high  land."  The  canal  that  Dubreuil 
was  digging  was  necessary  for  bringing  lumber  to  ship 
to  France,  and  for  building  vessels,  which  he  intended 
to  do. 

Dubreuil,  called  also  Villars  Dubreuil,  sold  on  most 
liberal  terms  a  house  for  the  residence  of  the  governor, 
and  he  was  a  very  useful  citizen.  It  is  pitiful  to  see  that 
in  1778  his  widow,  owing  to  his  disinterestedness,  was 
reduced  to  absolute  poverty  in  France,  and  his  six  chil- 
dren in  Louisiana  were  living  in  the  woods  with  the 

Bienville's  successor,  Perier,  arrived  in  Xew  Orleans 
in  October,  1726.  He  was  "  a  brave  marine  officer,  to 
whose  praise  it  can  be  said  that  he  caused  himself  to  be 
loved  by  the  troops  as  well  as  by  the  inhabitants,  for 
his  equity  and  his  benevolent  generosity."  3  Bienville's 
relatives,  his  brother  Chateaugue  and  his  nephew  De 

104.         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [its? 

Noyan,  were  recalled  to  France,  as  well  as  his  cousin 
Boisbriant  a  little  later.  De  la  Chaise,  the  commissary, 
had  been  the  chief  cause  of  Boisbriant's  fall,  and  when 
Perier  reached  Louisiana  he  met  with  no  opposition  from 
the  partisans  of  Bienville. 

We  have  seen  that  he  took  great  interest  in  education, 
and  that  it  was  he  who  invited  the  Ursuline  nuns  to  come 
to  Louisiana.  He  had  at  first  endeavored  to  obtain  some 
Gray  sisters  from  Canada,  and  had  not  succeeded.  Then 
Father  de  Beaubois,  a  Jesuit,  had  suggested  the  Ursu- 
lines.  A  contract  was  finally  signed  with  them  on  Sep- 
tember 13, 172C,  and  approved  by  the  King  on  September 
18,  by  which  it  was  agreed  that  six  nuns  were  to  open  a 
girls'  school  in  New  Orleans,  and  to  attend  to  the  hos- 
pital. The  sisters  met  at  Hennebon  and  recognized  as 
superior  Mother  Marie  Tranchepain  de  Saint- Augustin.4 
They  sailed  from  Lorient  on  February  23,  1727,  and 
arrived  at  New  Orleans  on  August  6,  after  a  very  long 
and  perilous  voyage.  This  voyage  has  been  described 
by  Sister  Madeleine  Hachard,  whose  impressions  of  New 
Orleans  are  of  great  historic  interest.  Her  letters  to  her 
father  are  witty,  instructive,  and  charming.  She  relates 
how  they  escaped  from  pirate  ships  before  reaching 
Santo  Domingo,  which  they  left  on  May  19.  They  were 
nearly  shipwrecked,  and  finally  arrived  at  the  Balize,  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi,  on  July  23.  They  were  well 
received  by  De  Verges,  the  commandant,  and  went  up 
the  river  in  canoes.  They  suffered  greatly  during  the 
journey;  but,  as  the  gentle  sister  says,  "  one  is  well  re- 
warded afterward  by  the  pleasure  one  finds  in  relating 

i72i]  THE  URSULINES  105 

one's  little  adventures,  and  one  is  surprised  when  one  con- 
siders the  strength  and  the  courage  which  God  gives  in 
these  troubles,  which  proves  well  that  he  is  never  lacking 
to  any  one,  and  that  he  does  not  permit  that  we  should  be 
tempted  beyond  our  strength,  giving  us  graces  propor- 
tionate to  the  trials  that  happen  to  us.  It  is  true  that 
the  ardent  desire  which  we  had  to  arrive  at  that  promised 
land  made  us  endure  everything  with  joy."  The  nuns 
received  as  a  residence  Bienville's  former  house  and  dwelt 
there  until  1734,  when  they  took  possession  of  the  convent 
house  built  for  them  on  Conde  Street,  now  Chartres. 
This  building,  the  oldest  in  New  Orleans,  was  for  a  time 
the  State  House  of  Louisiana  and  the  archbishop's  palace. 
Sister  Madeleine  Hachard  says  a  song  was  publicly 
sung  in  Xew  Orleans,  in  which  it  was  said  that  the  city 
had  as  much  "  appearance  "  as  Paris,  and  she  adds:  "  In- 
deed, it  is  very  beautiful,  but  besides  that  I  have  not 
enough  eloquence  to  be  able  to  persuade  you  of  the 
beauty  which  the  song  mentions,  I  find  a  difference  be- 
tween this  city  and  that  of  Paris.  It  might  persuade  peo- 
ple who  had  never  seen  the  capital  of  France,  but  I  have 
seen  it,  and  the  song  will  not  persuade  me  of  the  contrary 
of  what  I  believe.  It  is  true  that  it  is  increasing  every 
day,  and  later  may  become  as  beautiful  and  as  large  as 
the  principal  towns  of  France,  if  there  still  come  work- 
men, and  it  becomes  peopled  according  to  its  size."  She 
speaks  of  the  magnificent  dresses  of  the  ladies,  and  is 
grateful  for  the  kind  treatment  of  the  governor  and  his 
wife  and  of  the  principal  inhabitants.  She  mentions  the 
mosquitoes  and  other  insects,  which  she  knows  only  by 

10G  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [i7» 

sight,  but  which  fly  around  her  and,  she  says,  would  like 
to  assassinate  her. 

Sister  Hachard  gives  the  following  description  of 
Bienville's  house,  which  was  given  the  nuns  on  their  ar- 
rival in  New  Orleans: 

Our  residence  since  our  arrival  here  is  in  the  finest  house  in  the 
city;  it  is  a  two-story  building,  with  an  attic.  We  have  all  the 
rooms  necessary,  six  doors  to  enter  the  rooms  on  the  lower  floor. 
There  are  everywhere  large  windows.  However,  there  are  no  panes 
of  glass,  but  the  framework  is  covered  with  a  thin  and  transparent 
material,  which  gives  as  much  light  as  glass.  It  is  situated  at  one 
end  of  the  town.  We  have  a  poultry  yard  and  a  garden,  which 
join  and  are  met  at  both  ends  by  large  wild  trees,  of  prodigious 
height  and  size. 

In  her  letter  dated  April  24,  1728,  Sister  Hachard 
says  there  are  at  the  convent  twenty  girls,  boarding  stu- 
dents, three  ladies,  three  orphan  girls,  seven  slaves,  board- 
ers to  be  prepared  for  baptism  and  first  communion,  and 
a  large  number  of  day  scholars  and  negresses  and  Indian 
women  who  come  two  hours  every  day  to  receive  instruc- 
tion (probably  religious).  She  says  it  is  the  custom  for 
girls  to  marry  at  the  age  of  twelve  and  fourteen,  and  that, 
before  the  arrival  of  the  nuns,  many  girls  had  been  mar- 
ried without  any  religious  instruction.  Now,  however, 
none  are  married  without  having  received  instruction 
from  the  sisters.  An  important  part  of  the  latter's  work 
is  the  care  of  the  sick. 

Sister  Hachard  mentions  several  times  in  her  letters, 
and  with  great  praise,  the  Jesuit  Father  de  Beaubois.  It 
was  he,  as  we  have  seen,  who  had  suggested  the  Ur- 

1788]  THE  CAPUCHINS  107 

sulines  to  Bienville,  when  the  latter  was  looking  for  teach- 
ers for  the  girls  in  Louisiana.  The  province  had  heen 
divided,  hy  an  ordinance  dated  May  16,  1722,  into  three 
spiritual  jurisdictions.5  The  first,  comprising  all  the 
country  from  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi  to  the  Wa- 
hash,  and  west  of  the  Mississippi,  was  allotted  to  the  Ca- 
puchins, whose  superior  was  to  be  grand  vicar  of  the 
Bishop  of  Quebec  in  that  department  and  was  to  reside 
in  Xew  Orleans.  The  second  extended  north  from  the 
Wabash,  and  belonged  to  the  Jesuits,  whose  superior,  re- 
siding in  the  Illinois  country,  was  to  be  also  grand  vicar 
of  the  Bishop  of  Quebec  in  that  department.  The  third 
comprised  all  the  country  east  of  the  Mississippi,  from 
the  sea  to  the  Wabash,  and  was  given  to  the  Carmelites, 
whose  superior  was  also  grand  vicar  and  resided  usually 
at  Mobile. 

The  Capuchins  took  possession  of  their  district  in  1722; 
the  Jesuits  had  been  in  theirs  a  long  time.  The  jurisdic- 
tion of  the  Carmelites  was  added  to  that  of  the  Capu- 
chins on  December  19,  1722,  and  the  former  returned  to 
France.  In  December,  1723,  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Ca- 
puchins was  restricted  to  the  country  from  Natchez  south 
to  the  sea,  on  both  sides  of  the  river,  as  the  Capu- 
chins were  not  very  numerous.  It  was,  however,  decreed 
in  1725  that  no  monks  or  priests  could  attend  to  churches 
or  missions  within  the  jurisdiction  of  the  Capuchins,  with- 
out the  consent  of  the  latter.  It  was  found  a  little  later 
that  the  Capuchins  could  not  attend  properly  to  missions, 
on  account  of  their  small  number  and  their  inaptitude 
for  such  work.6     The  spiritual  care  of  all  the  savages 

108         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         11729 

in  the  province  was  therefore  given  to  the  Jesuits,  and 
their  superior  was  permitted  to  reside  in  New  Orleans, 
provided  he  performed  no  ecclesiastical  functions  without 
the  consent  of  the  Capuchins.  Several  Jesuits  arrived 
in  New  Orleans  with  the  Ursuline  nuns,  and  Father 
de  Beaubois  soon  became  their  superior.  He  pretended 
to  have  obtained  from  the  Bishop  of  Quebec  the  au- 
thority of  grand  vicar  even  for  New  Orleans,  and  acted 
as  such,  in  spite  of  the  remonstrances  of  the  Capuchin 
superior,  Father  Raphael.  Father  de  Beaubois  was  re- 
called, and  was  succeeded  by  Father  Petit,  who  was  of 
a  "  very  moderate  and  circumspect  disposition."  At  the 
time  of  the  arrival  of  the  Ursulines  in  New  Orleans,  the 
Capuchin  Father  Cecile  is  mentioned  as  a  schoolmaster. 
He  probably  had  a  school  for  boys. 

Dumont,  in  his  "  Memoires  Historiques,"  gives  an  in- 
teresting account  of  the  currency  in  Louisiana.  He  says 
that  when  the  Western  Company  took  charge  of  the 
colony  hardly  any  money  was  seen  there,  except  Spanish 
coin  and  French  silver,  with  which  a  few  things  were 
bought.  The  goods  sold  by  the  Company  were  not  paid 
for  in  money.  "  When  goods  were  needed,  a  list  was 
made  and  presented  to  one  of  the  directors  of  the  Com- 
pany, who,  after  deducting  what  he  thought  proper, wrote 
on  it  an  order  for  the  storekeeper.  The  applicant  then 
went  to  the  store  to  receive  what  was  on  his  statement, 
and  that  amount  was  deducted  from  the  total  he  was 
entitled  to  receive.  In  a  word,  the  notes  of  officers,  clerks, 
and  employes  were  then  current  in  the  community,  and 
passed  for  money."    There  was  afterward  card  money, 

17^9]  THE   CURRENCY  109 

from  five  sous  to  fifty  livres,  and  "  for  the  advantage  of 
those  who  could  not  read,  it  was  made  so  that  hy  mere 
inspection  one  knew  what  was  the  value  of  the  card  by 
the  way  it  was  cut.  The  value  was  also  marked,  and  the 
cards  bore  two  signatures,  which,  however,  were  often 
forged.  Hardly  had  the  card  money  been  invented  when 
a  small  copper  coin  began  to  arrive.  Vessels  were  for- 
bidden to  refuse  card  money,  but  they  lost  nothing,  since, 
on  paying  into  the  Company's  treasury  the  amount  re- 
ceived in  notes,  they  received  bills  of  exchange  on 
France."  Private  individuals  who  wished  to  return  to 
France  were  compelled  to  exchange  their  card  money  for 
Spanish  dollars,  and  lost  a  good  deal.  The  management 
of  the  currency,  throughout  the  whole  French  domination, 
was  unwise  and  vexatious. 

Nevertheless,  the  colony  was  prospering  under  the  rule 
of  the  Company  of  the  Indies:  New  Orleans  was  pro- 
tected by  a  levee  in  1729;  the  crops  of  rice,  tobacco,  and 
indigo  were  satisfactory;  the  fig-tree  from  Provence  and 
the  orange-tree  from  Santo  Domingo  had  thriven;  ne- 
groes had  been  imported  to  cultivate  the  land;  and  in 
1728  a  ship  had  arrived  with  young  girls  who  were  to 
be  married  to  the  colonists.  Each  girl  had  received  a 
small  casket  containing  some  articles  of  clothing,  and 
they  were  known  afterward  as  les  filles  a  la  cassette. 
They  were  of  good  character,  and  were  placed  under  the 
charge  of  the  Ursuline  nuns  until  their  marriage. 

It  has  been  said  that  the  Louisianians  of  French  origin 
are  descended  not  only  from  the  "  casket  girls,"  but  also 
from  girls  taken  from  the  prisons  of  Paris  and  trans- 

110         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [1729 

ported  by  force  to  the  colony.  That  this  is  incorrect  is 
proved  by  an  extract  from  a  letter  of  an  Englishman 
long  a  resident  of  Louisiana,  dated  December  10,  1751 : 7 

You  have  seen,  Sir,  by  this  detail  that  we  have  had,  and  have 
still  to-day,  in  the  colony  a  number  of  persons  of  distinction.  If 
I  had  mentioned  the  other  posts  and  only  all  those  who  have  occu- 
pied or  who  still  occupy  positions  with  the  commission  of  the  King, 
without  mentioning  several  other  persons  very  much  esteemed,  you 
will  see  that  the  greater  number  were  and  are  still  married.  Several 
have  taken  with  them  their  wives  and  children  from  France.  Their 
children  have  greatly  multiplied,  so  much  so  that  one  may  surely 
say  that  there  is  no  colony,  considering  its  population,  more  filled 
with  honest  people.  A  remarkable  thing  is,  that  out  of  forty-four 
girls  who  were  sent  by  force  from  France  in  1722  by  the  Mutme 
(the  only  ones  of  that  kind  who  have  set  foot  in  the  colony)  there 
is  only  one  who  has  left  any  posterity,  although  all  were  married 
and  had  several  children.  Of  several  convicts  who  were  sent  in 
the  beginning  of  the  colony,  I  do  not  know  of  a  single  one  who 
was  established  there.  It  seems  that  this  country  has  something 
which  distinguishes  it,  as  with  certain  countries  where  no  vile 
creature  can  leave  its  kind ;  and  one  may  say  that  all  persons  are 
of  such  honest  extraction  that  it  would  be  difficult  to  marry  into 
families  with  dishonor,  in  spite  of  the  reviling  made  of  this  colony 
in  the  beginning  of  its  establishment.  They  wisely  prohibited, 
in  the  beginning,  all  marriages  of  whites  with  the  savages,  the 
negroes  or  mulattoes,  which  has  always  been  exactly  observed  since, 
so  that  one  may  say  that  the  blood  in  that  respect  is  here  as  pure 
as  in  any  kingdom  in  Europe,  and  very  different  from  several  other 
countries  and  colonies,  particularly  of  the  Spaniards,  where  one 
sees  a  horrible  mixture  of  all  races. 

The  prosperity  of  the  colony  was  rudely  interrupted 
in  1729  by  the  massacre  of  the  French  at  Fort  Rosalie, 
and  by  the  war  that  followed  against  the  Natchez  and  the 


Chickasaws.  Very  full  details  of  these  events  are  given 
by  Dumont,  who  was  a  lieutenant  at  Fort  Rosalie  shortly 
before  the  massacre;  by  Le  Page  du  Pratz,  who  was  in 
Louisiana  at  that  time;  and  by  Governor  Perier  and  other 
officers  of  the  colony,  in  their  official  despatches.  The 
Chickasaws  never  had  been  very  friendly  to  the  French, 
and  the  Xatchez  seemed  restless.  Bienville  had  asked 
for  more  troops,  and  Perier  repeated  the  demand  when 
he  became  governor,  but  without  success.  The  Indians 
were  led  to  attack  the  French  by  the  greed  and  injustice 
of  Chopart,  the  commandant  at  Fort  Rosalie.  He  or- 
dered the  Xatchez  to  abandon  one  of  their  finest  villages 
in  order  that  he  might  establish  a  plantation  there.  The 
chief  succeeded  in  obtaining,  or  rather  in  buying,  from 
him  a  delay,  but  the  Xatchez  thought  that  henceforth  their 
safety  lay  only  in  destroying  the  French  at  Fort  Rosalie. 
They  formed  a  plot  for  that  purpose,  and  although  Cho- 
part had  received  warning,  he  did  nothing  to  protect  the 
French.  On  Xovember  28,  1729,  the  savages  surprised 
the  fort,  massacred  the  commandant  and  two  hundred 
and  fifty  men,  and  took  prisoners  a  number  of  women, 
children,  and  negro  slaves.  Only  one  soldier  of  the  gar- 
rison escaped,  and  four  or  five  inhabitants,  of  whom  one 
or  two  succeeded  in  reaching  Xew  Orleans.  All  the  wo- 
men were  employed  as  slaves,  and  the  fort  and  all  the 
other  buildings  of  the  French  were  burned.  Two  men 
only  were  spared, — one  a  tailor,  and  the  other  a  cart- 
driver  who  was  employed  to  transport  to  the  villages  of 
the  Indians  the  booty  captured  at  the  fort. 

The  Xatchez  murdered  afterward  four  men  who  were 
in  a  canoe  on  the  river,  and  killed  the  child  of  one  of 

112         A  HISTORY  OF  LOUISIANA         [1739 

the  captive  Frenchwomen,  in  order  that  he  might  accom- 
pany to  the  land  of  spirits  the  dead  child  of  one  of 
the  Indians.  They  also  persuaded  the  Yazoos  to  massa- 
cre the  French  who  had  settled  in  their  country  at  Fort 
St.  Claude.  This  was  done  in  the  beginning  of  the  year 
1730.  The  Natchez  had  not  succeeded  as  well  with  the 
Choctaws  as  with  the  Yazoos.  They  had  expected  that 
the  Choctaws  would  massacre  the  French  in  New  Orleans 
on  the  same  day  when  the  Natchez  massacred  them  in 
their  own  country;  but  the  plot  failed,  if  it  ever  existed, 
and  Dumont  says  the  Choctaws  forbade  the  Natchez  to 
put  to  death  any  of  the  captive  women  and  children. 

The  news  of  the  massacre  reached  New  Orleans  in  the 
beginning  of  December,  1729,  and  Governor  Perier  sent 
to  the  Choctaws  the  Sieur  de  Lery,  an  officer  well  versed 
in  the  languages  of  the  savages.  The  Choctaws  promised 
to  give  the  French  all  the  aid  in  their  power,  and  Perier 
sent  against  the  Natchez  the  Chevalier  de  Loubois,8  the 
King's  lieutenant,  who  went  to  the  country  of  the  Tuni- 
cas and  built  a  fort  there  to  await  the  coming  of  the 
Choctaws.  After  a  short  time,  Loubois  called  for  men 
of  good  will  to  reconnoiter  in  the  country  of  the  Natchez. 
Five  men  presented  themselves,  but  they  acted  impru- 
dently and  were  caught  by  the  savages,  after  one  of  them, 
Navarre,  had  been  killed  fighting  and  taunting  his  ene- 
mies. One  of  the  captives  was  sent  with  a  message  to 
Loubois,  two  were  immediately  murdered,  and  the  fifth 
man,  Mesplet,  was  tortured  most  horribly.  In  February, 
1730,  sixteen  hundred  Choctaws  arrived  in  the  Natchez 
country,  but  after  freeing  a  few  women  they  stayed  a 
month  at  some  distance  from  the  fort  of  the  Natchez 

1730]  NATCHEZ  HOUTED  113 

without  attacking  the  latter.  Finally,  Loubois  appeared 
before  the  fort  in  March  and  laid  siege  to  it.  In  spite 
of  a  brisk  firing,  the  French  were,  for  a  considerable  time, 
unsuccessful  in  their  attacks,  and  the  siege  seemed  only 
to  be  an  occasion  for  individual  acts  of  heroism,  when 
very  unexpectedly  the  Natchez  sent  a  Frenchwoman  to 
the  commander  to  sue  for  peace.  The  captive  women 
and  children  were  delivered  to  the  Choctaws,  allies  of  the 
French,  and  Loubois  was  on  the  point  of  renewing  his 
attack,  in  spite  of  the  capitulation,  when  it  was  found 
that  the  savages  had  escaped  from  the  fort  in  the  night, 
not  trusting  their  enemies  any  more  than  the  latter 
trusted  them.  Loubois  built  a  new  fort  in  the  Natchez 
country,  and  returned  to  New  Orleans  with  the  unfortu- 
nate captives,  who  had  been  freed  from  the  Choctaws 
with  great  trouble. 

The  Natchez  retired  toward  Black  River  and  con- 
tinued their  attacks  against  the  French.  They  murdered 
a  detachment  of  twenty  men  in  the  neighborhood  of  the 
fort  at  Natchez,  tried  to  surprise  the  garrison  of  the  fort, 
and  attacked  the  fort  at  Natchitoches.  There,  however, 
they  had  to  deal  with  the  valiant  St.  Denis,  who,  with  a 
reinforcement  of  forty  Natchitoches  Indians,  completely 
routed  the  savages  and  killed  sixty  of  them  without  los- 
ing a  single  man. 

At  that  time  the  great  chief  of  the  Tunicas  was  killed 
by  the  Natchez.  He  had  become  a  Christian,  as  well  as 
his  son,  and  had  received  a  medal  from  the  King  of 
France  in  recompense  for  his  attachment  to  the  French. 
A  little  before  the  death  of  their  chief  the  Tunicas  had 
taken  a  Natchez  woman  to  New  Orleans,  and  had  ob- 

114  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [mi 

tained  from  Perier  permission  to  burn  and  torture  her 
publicly.  The  French  governor  was  not  a  cruel  man, 
but  we  must  deplore  the  fact  that  through  policy  he  al- 
lowed and  even  ordered  several  cruel  deeds  to  be  com- 
mitted in  the  wars  against  the  savages. 

These  were  troublous  times  indeed,  for  not  only  were 
the  French  threatened  with  destruction  by  the  hostile 
Indians,  but  the  negroes  formed  a  plot  in  New  Orleans 
to  murder  the  whites.  The  plot  was  discovered,  the  lead- 
ers were  executed,  and  in  order  to  render  the  savages  for- 
ever hostile  to  the  negroes  Perier  caused  the  latter  to  put 
to  death  seven  or  eight  Chouachas  Indians  and  to  destroy 
their  village.  The  chief  aim  of  the  governor,  however, 
was  to  prosecute  the  war  against  the  Natchez.  He  re- 
ceived, in  August,  1730,  some  reinforcements  from 
France,  under  his  brother,  Perier  de  Salvert,  and  on  No- 
vember 15,  1730,  he  departed  with  six  hundred  and  fifty 
soldiers,  including  the  militia,  and  three  hundred  and 
fifty  Indian  auxiliaries  for  the  Black  River.  In  this 
expedition  he  succeeded  in  bringing  back  to  New  Orleans, 
on  February  5,  1731,  four  hundred  and  twenty-seven 
captives,  including  Great  Sun  and  several  chiefs.  These 
were  sent  to  Santo  Domingo  by  Perier  and  sold  as  slaves. 
He  had  previously,  he  said,  "  burned  four  men  and  two 
women  here." 

The  place  where  the  Natchez  made  their  last  stand 
against  Perier  has  been  definitely  ascertained  by  Clai- 
borne, who  gives  the  following  interesting  statement  of 
Dr.  Henry  F.  Peck,  A.B.,  in  his  "  History  of  Missis- 

1731]  RUIN   OF  THE   NATCHEZ  115 

Battle-Ground  Plantation,  Sicily  Island, 
Catahoula  Parish,  La.,  March  6,  1878. 

The  last  stand  of  the  Natchez  was  made  here,  on  the  southwest 
end  of  a  small  lake,  which  makes  part  of  the  eastern  boundary  of 
Sicily  Island.  The  bluff,  at  this  point,  is  some  thirty  feet  above 
the  level  of  the  lake,  with  a  deep  ravine  on  the  south  and  west. 
They  threw  up  an  intrenchment,  which  could  be  traced  as  late  as 
1825.  The  position  is  just  forty  miles  from  Natchez,  across  the 
swamp.  It  is  to  identify  this  point  as  the  last  great  battle-ground 
of  the  Natchez  to  wliich  you  have  directed  your  inquiries.  The 
war  material  found  here  is  conclusive  as  to  its  having  been  the 
scene  of  a  great  conflict,  in  which  European  soldiers  took  part. 
Fragments  of  shells,  indicating  a  diameter  of  four  to  six  inches, 
were  profusely  scattered  over  the  field;  the  outer  plates  of  gun- 
locks,  almost  destroyed  by  oxidation ;  fragments  of  pistol-barrels ; 
great  numbers  of  gun-flints  of  very  fine  silex;  a  chain-shot  that 
still  weighs  three  pounds  eleven  ounces;  and  musket -balls  so  numer- 
ous that  our  early  hunters  obtained  their  lead  on  the  premises. 
These  balls  were  so  encrusted  with  oxide  that  when  melted  each  one 
left  a  white  shell  like  an  egg-shell.  Many  irons  resembling  mill- 
irons,  fragments  of  crockery  and  pottery,  ordinary  Indian  arrow- 

The  Natchez,  now  greatly  reduced  in  number,  were 
routed  by  St.  Denis  at  Natchitoches,  in  the  summer  of 
1731,  as  we  have  already  related.  What  remained  of  the 
tribe  was  adopted  by  the  Chickasaws,  and  the  name  of 
the  Natchez  as  a  nation  was  lost.  Such  was  the  fate  of 
these  Indians,  who  have  been  celebrated  in  history  and 
in  romance,  and  whose  name  has  been  given  to  a  beautiful 
town  on  the  broad  river  where  used  to  glide  swiftly  the 
pirogues  and  bark  canoes  of  the  dreaded  and  brave  war- 
riors of  Great  Sun. 


Bienville's  Wars  with  the  Chickasaws- 
Vaudreuil,  the  Grand  Marquis— The 
Seven  Years'  War 

Character  of  Governor  Perier — List  of  officers  from  1725  to  1730— Sur- 
render of  the  charter  of  the  Company  of  the  Indies — Return  of  Bienville 
— War  with  the  Chickasaws — Bienville's  retreat — Death  of  young  D'Ar- 
taguette— Names  of  the  principal  officers — Bienville's  narrative — Second 
expedition  against  the  Chickasaws — Failure  of  the  expedition — Celoron 
attacks  the  Indians— Bienville  asks  to  be  relieved—  Foundation  of  the  hos- 
pital—Hurricanes in  1740 — Request  for  the  establishment  of  a  college  of 
the  Jesuits — Brothers  of  the  Christian  schools— Bienville's  departure  from 
the  colony — The  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil — Hostilities  with  the  Indians — Or- 
dinances of  Vaudreuil  and  Salmon — Vaudreuil's  activity — His  police  regu- 
lations— Vaudreuil  becomes  Governor  of  Canada— Introduction  of  the 
sugar-cane— The  last  girls  sent  at  the  King's  expense — Washington  at 
Great  Meadows  and  at  Fort  Necessity— Bossu's  account  of  the  Creoles — 
Bossu's  description  of  New  Orleans— Governor  Kerlerec — The  tragedy  at 
Cat  Island — Sad  fate  of  Beaudreau — Unwise  administration  of  France  and 
of  Louisiana— Marigny  de  MandevLUe— Adventures  of  Belle-Isle— Defeat 
of  the  French  in  America. 

X  his  last  expedition  against  the  Nat- 
chez, Governor  Perier  appears  to 
have  acted  with  duplicity,  and  to 
have  captured  the  chiefs  by  an  un- 
worthy stratagem.  He  does  not  ap- 
pear, however,  in  his  despatches  to 
his  government,  to  helieve  that  he 
has  done  wrong,  and  it  is  but  just  to  quote  here  what  Le 
Page  du  Pratz  says  of  him :  *  "  M.  de  Salvert  left  Lou- 


^~-\v-  ^fc 

dfJh^*£«Skb£  $  & 












isiana  with  the  laurels  he  had  gathered  there,  and  re- 
turned to  France  to  receive  the  applause  of  the  court. 
M.  Perier,  our  Governor,  was  also  recalled  some  time 
later;  he  received  the  reward  due  his  services,  the  firm- 
ness and  the  equity  with  which  he  had  governed;  quali- 
ties which  caused  him  to  he  regretted  by  all  the  honest 
people  in  the  colony." 

The  following  list  of  the  officers  in  Louisiana  2  from 
1725  to  1730  is  interesting:  Le  Chevalier  de  Loubois, 
licit  tenant  tie  roij  New  Orleans;  Le  Baron  de  Crenay, 
lieutenant  de  roi,  Mobile;  D'Artaguette,  major,  New 
Orleans;  Beauchamp,  major,  Mobile;  Bessan,  aide-ma- 
jor, Xew  Orleans;  St.  Denis,  commandant,  Natchitoches ; 
St.  Ange  pere,  lieutenant  reforme,  commandant  at  the 
Illinois;  De  Vincennes,  commandant  at  Ouabache. 

The  captains  were:  Gauvrit,  at  the  Balize;  Pradel,  at 
Natchez;  Marchand  de  Courcelles,  at  Mobile;  Renaud 
d'Hauterive,  at  Mobile;  Lusser,  at  Mobile;  Chevalier  de 
Noyan,  at  New  Orleans;  Chevalier  de  St.  Julien,  at  New 

The  lieutenants  were:  Montmarquet,  at  the  Aliba- 
mons;  Basse,  at  Mobile;  Petit  de  Levilliers,  at  New  Or- 
leans; Benoist,  at  Mobile;  Maillard,  at  the  Illinois;  Gau- 
tren,  at  the  Natchitoches. 

The  sous-lieutenants  were:  Terisse  de  Tressan,  at  the 
Illinois;  Simare  de  Belle-Isle,  at  New  Orleans;  Regis 
du  Roulet,  at  the  Choctaws;  Maren  de  Latour,  at  New 
Orleans;  Marin  Dupuy,  at  New  Orleans;  Duterpuy  Ver- 
chier,  at  Mobile. 

The  enseignes  were:  Ste.  Therese  de  Langloiserie,  at 

118         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [1731 

New  Orleans;  St.  Ange  fils,  at  the  Illinois;  Dutisne,  at 
the  Illinois;  Chambellan  Graton,  at  the  Choctaws;  Ben- 
nille,  at  Mobile;  Grandpre,  at  New  Orleans;  Chevalier 
d'Herneuville,  at  the  Natchez. 

The  Offtciers  reformes  (retired)  were:  DArensbourg, 
captain,  at  the  village  of  the  Germans ;  Mondrelois,  lieu- 
tenant, at  New  Orleans;  Juzan,  lieutenant,  at  the  Tuni- 
cas ;  De  Labuissonniere,  at  the  Natchez. 

The  officers  without  commission  were:  Coulanges,  at 
the  Arkansas;  Isel,  at  the  Natchez. 

In  the  "  Historical  Collections  of  Louisiana,"  by  B. 
F.  French,  Part  III,  page  179,  is  a  list  of  the  first  in- 
habitants of  New  Orleans. 

The  expense  occasioned  by  the  Natchez  war  had  been 
so  great  that  the  Company  of  the  Indies  begged  to  be 
allowed  to  surrender  its  charter,3  and  in  1731  Louisi- 
ana became  again  a  royal  province.  The  colony  had 
prospered  considerably  since  1717,  and  the  population 
had  increased  from  about  six  hundred  whites  and  twenty 
negroes  to  five  thousand  whites  and  two  thousand  ne- 
groes. Agriculture  was  also  in  a  flourishing  condition. 
The  chief  crops  were  indigo  and  tobacco ;  cotton  also  was 
cultivated,  but  on  a  small  scale.  Commerce  was  lan- 
guishing and  had  to  be  encouraged  in  1732  by  a  decree 
that  exempted  from  duties  all  goods  sent  from  France 
to  Louisiana  and  from  Louisiana  to  France.  In  the 
same  year  (1732)  the  Superior  Council  of  the  colony 
was  reorganized  as  follows:  Perier,  governor;  Salmon, 
commissaire  ordonnateur;  Loubois  and  DArtaguette, 
King's  lieutenants;  Benac,  major  of  New  Orleans;  Fa- 

nasi  RETURN   OF   BIENVILLE  119 

zende,  Brule,  Bru,  Lafreniere,  Prat,  and  Raguet,  coun- 
cilors; Fleuriau,  attorney-general;  Rossart,  secretary. 

A  little  later  Bienville  was  again  appointed  governor, 
and  he  arrived  in  New  Orleans  in  the  beginning  of  1733. 
The  colonists  received  him  with  joy;  but  this  distin- 
guished man  met  with  great  disasters  in  his  last  wars 
with  the  Indians.  Perier  does  not  appear  to  have  shown 
sufficient  tact  in  his  dealings  with  the  savages,  and  he 
treated  them,  as  we  have  seen,  with  unnecessary  harsh- 
ness. His  successor,  Bienville,  found  the  important  tribe 
of  the  Chickasaws  dissatisfied  with  the  French,  and  war 
could  hardly  be  avoided.  Our  chief  authorities  for  these 
events  are  Dumont's  "  Memoires  Historiques  "  and  Bien- 
ville's despatches. 

After  the  defeat  of  the  Natchez  at  Natchitoches  by 
St.  Denis,  the  greater  part  of  the  remnant  of  that  tribe 
was  adopted  by  the  Chickasaws.  In  1734  Bienville  asked 
for  the  surrender  of  the  fugitives,  but  the  Chickasaws 
replied  that  the  Natchez  formed  part  of  their  tribe  and 
they  could  not  abandon  them.  The  governor  resolved, 
therefore,  to  compel  the  Chickasaws  to  give  up  the  Nat- 
chez, and  he  prepared  actively  for  war.  He  sent  to  the 
Illinois  country  five  boats  commanded  by  Le  Blanc. 
One  of  the  boats  was  loaded  with  powder,  and  the  others 
with  merchandise,  and  Le  Blanc  succeeded  in  reaching 
the  Arkansas  in  safety.  He  unwisely  left  the  powder 
there,  and  on  his  arrival  at  the  Illinois  country,  he  sent 
a  boat  to  get  the  powder.  On  the  way  back  the  boat  was 
captured  by  the  Indians,  all  the  men  in  it  were  killed  ex- 
cept two,  and  the  powder  was  lost.    Le  Blanc  transmitted 

120  A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [me 

to  D'Artaguette,  the  commandant  at  Fort  Chartres, 
Bienville's  orders,  which  were  that  D'Artaguette  should 
collect  as  large  an  army  as  possible  and  go  to  the  Chick- 
asaw country,4  where  Bienville  would  meet  him  by  May 
10,  1736.  DArtaguette  was  the  younger  brother  of 
Diron,  the  commissary,  who  was  then  on  bad  terms  with 
the  governor. 

Bienville  went  to  Fort  Conde  at  Mobile  and  met  the 
great  chief  of  the  Choctaws,  whom  he  induced,  by  pres- 
ents,  to  promise  the  aid  of  his  tribe  against  the  Chick- 
asaws.  He  returned  afterward  to  Xew  Orleans,  col- 
lected his  troops,  and  went  back  to  Mobile,  from  which 
place  the  expedition  was  to  set  out.  On  April  1,  1736, 
the  army  left  Mobile  and  went  up  the  Mobile  River  in 
a  small  fleet  of  thirty  pirogues  and  thirty  flatboats.  On 
April  20,  Bienville  arrived  at  a  place  called  Tombecbe, 
and  was  joined  there  by  the  Choctaw  auxiliaries.  He 
was  detained  by  rains  at  Tombecbe  until  May  4,  and  on 
May  25  reached  a  place  called  Tibia,  seven  leagues  from 
the  Chickasaw  village.  The  army  advanced  in  good 
order,  "  the  soldiers,"  says  Dumont,  "  like  those  of  Gid- 
eon, gathering,  as  they  passed  by  on  that  prairie,  bunches 
of  strawberries,  which  our  common  mother  offered  with- 
out cultivation  and  in  abundance  to  those  who  would  pre- 
sent themselves  to  gather  them." 

The  Indians  were  found  in  a  strongly  fortified  post, 
over  which  an  English  banner  floated,  and  four  or  five 
Englishmen  were  seen  in  the  Indian  village.  The  troops 
attacked  the  fort,  but  were  repelled  with  heavy  loss,  as 
they  had  no  material  for  a  siege.    On  May  27  Bienville 


1736]  THE   CHICKASAW  WAR  121 

ordered  the  army  to  retreat,  and  returned  to  New  Or- 
leans, where  he  heard  of  the  sad  fate  of  D'Artaguette.5 
The  commandant  of  Fort  Chartres  had  oheyed  his  chief's 
orders  and  had  marched  into  the  country  of  the  Chicka- 
saws.  He  arrived  there  on  May  9,  and,  not  being  sup- 
ported by  the  main  army  of  the  French,  was  defeated 
by  the  Indians  and  forced  to  surrender.  D'Artaguette, 
Vincennes,  Father  Senac,  a  Jesuit  missionary,  and  six- 
teen other  men  were  burned  at  the  stake.  The  unhappy 
fate  of  DArtaguette  struck  the  imagination  of  the  col- 
onists, and  his  name  has  become  connected  with  a  proverb 
in  Louisiana.  In  speaking  of  something  very  old,  one 
says:  "As  old  as  the  time  of  D'Artaguette — vieux 
comme  du  temps  D'Artaguette."  Bienville's  army,  in 
the  unfortunate  expedition  against  the  Chickasaws,  was 
composed  of  five  hundred  and  forty-four  white  men, 
forty-five  negroes  commanded  by  free  negroes,  and  a 
large  number  of  Choctaws. 

"  Among  the  principal  officers,"  says  Bienville,  "  were 
Messieurs  Delery,  D'Hauterive,  De  Lusser,  De  Cour- 
tillas,  Petit,  Berthel,  De  Bombelles,  Benac,  Le  Blanc, 
De  Membrede,  De  Macarty,  De  St.  Pierre,  De  Velles, 
De  Bouille,  Des  Marets,  De  Contre-Coeur,  Populus  de 
St.  Protais,  Pontalba,  Vanderek,  Montbrun,  Noyau. 
At  the  head  of  the  Swiss  were  Du  Pare  and  Volant. 
Montmolin  was  the  standard-bearer.  The  detachment 
of  the  planters  was  commanded  by  Lesueur  and  St. 

We  quote  here  extracts  from  Bienville's  account  of 
the  expedition,  dated  June  28,  1736.° 

122         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [ins 

Finally,  on  May  22,  1736,  we  were  all  at  the  new  portage, 
where  we  landed  at  a  distance  of  nine  leagues  from  the  Chickasaw 
villages.  On  the  23rd,  at  day-break,  I  caused  a  number  of  pickets 
to  be  cut  and  a  small  fort  to  be  traced,  which  was  erected  imme- 
diately for  the  defense  of  our  carriages.  I  drew  from  the  com- 
panies a  garrison  of  twenty  men,  to  remain  there  under  the  com- 
mand of  the  Sieur  de  Vanderek,  with  the  keeper  of  the  provisions, 
the  owners  of  the  boats  and  a  few  sick  men.  I  had  the  time  to 
notice,  on  seeing  all  the  Choctaws  together,  that  they  had  not  come 
in  such  large  number  as  they  had  promised,  and  that  they  were 
hardly  more  than  six  hundred  men.  I  had  a  great  deal  of  trouble 
to  find  a  certain  number  who  were  willing  to  carry,  by  paying  them, 
sacks  of  powder  and  of  balls,  which  the  negroes  could  not  carry, 
having  already  taken  other  things.  On  the  24th,  after  taking  pro- 
visions for  twelve  days,  I  left  the  fort  in  the  afternoon,  and  camped 
in  the  evening  two  leagues  from  that  place.  The  rains,  which  had 
troubled  me  so  much  on  the  river,  did  not  leave  me  on  land.  Hardly 
were  we  camped  when  a  violent  storm  broke  out,  which  raged  several 
times  during  the  night  and  made  us  all  fear  for  our  provisions  and 
ammunition.  We  succeeded,  however,  in  preserving  them.  On 
the  25th  we  had  to  pass,  in  the  space  of  five  short  leagues,  across 
three  deep  ravines,  where  we  had  water  up  to  the  waist.  As  the 
banks  were  covered  with  very  thick  cane,  I  had  sent  scouts  ahead. 

Bienville  wished  to  attack  first  the  village  of  the  Nat- 
chez, which  was  a  little  farther ;  hut  the  Choctaws  insisted 
upon  attacking  the  Chickasaws. 

The  prairie,  continues  Bienville,  in  which  these  villages  were 
situated,  was  about  two  leagues  in  extent.  There  were  three  little 
villages  establish  d  in  a  triangle  on  the  crest  of  a  hill,  at  the  bot- 
tom of  which  flowed  a  brook  almost  dry.  The  Choctaws  came  to 
tell  me  that  I  would  not  find  any  water  further,  and  I  ordered  to 
defile  along  the  little  wood  that  terminated  the  prairie,  to  reach  an 
elevation  where  I  ordered  a  halt  to  eat.     It  was  then  after  twelve 

1736]  THE    CHICKASAW    WAR  123 

o'clock.  However,  the  Choctaws,  who  wished,  at  all  hazards,  to 
attack  these  first  villages,  began  a  skirmish,  as  soon  as  we  had 
entered  the  prairie,  to  draw  upon  ns  the  attack  of  the  enemy.  This 
succeeded;  so  that  most  of  the  officers  joined  the  Choctaws  to  ask 
that  those  villages  be  attacked  where  they  did  think  we  would  find 
a  great  resistance.  I  consented  then,  and  I  ordered  an  attack,  at 
two  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  by  the  company  of  grenadiers,  a 
picket  of  fifteen  men  from  each  of  the  eight  French  companies, 
sixty  Swiss  and  forty-five  men  from  the  volunteers  and  militia,  un- 
der the  command  of  M.  de  Noyan. 

From  the  place  where  we  had  stopped,  at  a  carbine  shot  from  the 
villages,  we  perceived  Englishmen,  who  were  actively  engaged  in 
preparing  the  Chickasaws  for  our  attack.  In  spite  of  the  irregu- 
larity of  this  conduct,  as  on  our  arrival  they  had  raised  in  one 
of  the  three  villages  an  English  flag,  to  be  known,  I  recommended 
M.  de  Noyan  to  forbid  that  they  should  be  insulted,  if  they  wished 
to  retire,  and,  to  give  them  the  time,  I  ordered  him  to  attack  at 
first  the  village  opposite  the  one  with  the  flag. 

However,  the  detachment  began  to  march  and  reached  the  bill, 
protected  by  mantelets,  which,  in  truth,  were  not  long  of  use,  be- 
cause the  negroes  who  were  to  carry  them  as  far  as  a  certain  place, 
having  had  one  of  their  number  killed  and  one  wounded,  threw 
down  the  mantelets  and  fled.  On  entering  the  village  called  Ackia, 
the  head  of  the  column  and  the  grenadiers,  being  in  the  open  field, 
suffered  severely.  The  Chevalier  de  Contre-Coeur  was  killed,  and 
several  soldiers  were  killed  or  wounded.  Yet  we  took  the  first  three 
strong  cabins  and  several  small  ones  that  protected  them,  but  when 
it  was  necessary  to  cross  from  these  to  others,  the  Chevalier  de 
Xoyan  perceived  that  be  had  with  him  only  the  officers  of  the  van- 
guard, a  few  grenadiers  and  a  dozen  volunteers.  The  death  of 
M.  de  Lusser,  who  was  killed  while  crossing,  as  well  as  that  of  the 
sergeant  of  the  grenadiers  and  of  part  of  his  men,  had  already 
frightened  the  troops.  The  soldiers  crowded  behind  the  captured 
cabins,  without  the  rear  officers  being  able  to  dislodge  them  from 
that  place,  so  that  the  officers  of  the  van  were  almost  all  disabled. 

124         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [im 

In  one  moment,  the  Chevalier  de  Noyan,  M.  d'Hautcrive,  captain 
of  the  grenadiers,  and  the  Sieurs  de  Velles,  Grondel  and  Montbrun 
were  wounded.  It  was  in  vain  that  the  Chevalier  de  Noyan,  wish- 
ing to  hold  his  ground,  sent  the  Sieur  de  Juzan,  his  aide-major, 
to  try  to  bring  back  the  soldiers.  That  officer  was  killed  near  them, 
and  his  death  only  increased  their  fright.  Finally,  the  wound  of 
M.  de  Noyan  having  compelled  him  to  retire  behind  a  cabin,  he 
sent  me  his  secretary,  who  had  followed  him,  ordering  him  to  report 
to  me  the  critical  situation  in  which  he  was,  and  advising  me  that, 
if  I  did  not  order  the  retreat,  or  did  not  send  reinforcements,  the 
remainder  of  the  officers  would  soon  share  the  fate  of  the  first ;  that, 
as  for  him,  he  did  not  wish  to  have  himself  carried  away,  from 
fear  that  the  few  men  remaining  would  take  occasion  to  flee ;  that, 
besides,  at  least  sixtj'  or  seventy  men  were  killed  or  wounded.  At 
this  report,  and  because  I  saw  the  French  troops  as  well  as  the 
Swiss  falling  back,  and  also  because  we  had  just  been  threatened 
with  an  attack  from  the  side  of  the  large  prairie  where  were  most 
of  the  villages  of  the  nation,  and  because  we  were  all  under  arms, 
I  sent  M.  de  Beauchamp  with  eighty  men  to  conduct  the  retreat 
and  to  carry  off  the  dead  and  wounded.  This  was  not  done  without 
losing  more  men.  The  Sieur  Favrot  was  wounded  there.  When 
M.  de  Beauchamp  arrived  at  the  place  of  the  attack  he  found  there 
almost  no  soldiers.  The  officers,  assembled  together  and  abandoned, 
were  holding  their  ground.  That  is  to  say,  they  were  at  the  cabin 
nearest  the  fort.  M.  de  Beauchamp  caused  them  to  retire,  and  re- 
turned to  the  camp  in  good  order,  the  enemy  not  having  dared  to 
come  out  to  charge  him.  It  is  true  that  the  Choctaws,  who  thus 
far  had  remained  protected  on  the  hill-side,  waiting  for  the  event, 
rose  then  and  fired  several  times.  They  had  on  this  occasion 
twenty-two  men  killed  or  wounded.  This  in  the  end  contributed 
not  a  little  to  disgust  them. 

Bienville  says  he  had  to  retire  because  he  had  neither 
cannon  nor  mortars.  He  lost  eight  or  nine  officers  and 
one  hundred  and  twenty  French  soldiers. 


Bienville  was  very  anxious  to  avenge  D'Artaguette 
and  to  regain  his  military  renown.  But  he  did  not  be- 
lieve that  he  had  sufficient  troops  to  conquer  the  Chicka- 
saws,  and  he  applied  to  France  for  reinforcements.  The 
Chevalier  de  Beauharnais,  Governor  of  Canada,  was  or- 
dered to  send  troops  to  assist  Bienville,  and  a  body  of 
marines  arrived  from  France,  commanded  by  the  Cheva- 
lier Louis  d'Ayme  de  Noailles.  The  army  was  conveyed 
by  the  Mississippi  River,  called  at  that  time  St.  Louis, 
to  Fort  St.  Francis  on  the  St.  Francis  River,  and 
thence  to  the  river  Margot,  now  Wolf  River.  A  work 
called  Fort  Assumption  was  built  near  the  present  city 
of  Memphis,  and  large  reinforcements  were  received 
under  the  Sieur  de  la  Buissonniere,  successor  to  the  un- 
fortunate DArtaguette  at  Fort  Chartres,  and  under 
Captain  de  Celoron  and  Lieutenant  de  St.  Laurent, 
"  followed,"  says  Dumont,  "  by  thirty  cadets  sent  by  the 
Governor  of  Canada,  with  a  great  number  of  Indians 
from  Canada." 

The  army  of  Bienville,  according  to  Judge  Martin, 
numbered  about  twelve  hundred  white  troops,  and  double 
that  number  of  Indians  and  black  troops.  For  some  un- 
accountable reason,  the  troops  remained  at  Fort  Assump- 
tion, at  some  distance  from  the  Indians,  from  August, 
1739,  to  March,  174.0,  without  attacking  the  enemy.  In 
a  despatch  to  the  minister,7  Bienville  says  he  could  find, 
for  some  time,  no  suitable  road  to  march  against 
the  Chickasaws,  and,  his  provisions  having  failed,  he 
called  a  council  of  war,  composed  of  his  principal  officers, 
which  decided  that,  as  it  was  impossible  to  bring  forward 

126  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [mo 

the  artillery  necessary  to  the  success  of  the  expedition, 
"  it  was  not  advisable  to  risk  the  glory  of  the  arms  of  the 
King  on  the  chance  of  a  doubtful  success." 

Dumont  says  that  not  only  the  provisions  failed, 
but  sickness  broke  out  in  the  camp,  especially  among  the 
soldiers  recently  arrived  from  France,  and  Bienville  re- 
solved, instead  of  conquering  the  Chickasaws,  to  grant 
them  peace  if  they  asked  for  it.  He  accordingly  sent 
Celoron  with  his  Canadian  cadets  and  his  Indian  allies 
to  advance  against  the  Chickasaws.8  The  latter,  believ- 
ing that  the  whole  army  of  Bienville  was  marching  to 
attack  them,  begged  for  peace,  and  presented  the  calumet 
to  Celoron.  This  commander  promised  peace,  and  Bien- 
ville ratified  the  treaty  in  April,  1740.  He  gave  presents 
to  his  Indian  allies  and  dismissed  them.  The  army  now 
returned  to  New  Orleans,  after  destroying  Forts  As- 
sumption and  St.  Francis.  The  Chickasaws  were  never 
vanquished,  and  they  and  the  Natchez  fugitives  contin- 
ued to  commit  depredations  at  times.  There  was,  how- 
ever, no  open  war  with  them  after  Bienville's  unsuc- 
cessful expedition.  Gayarre  attributes  Bienville's  last 
failure  to  a  feeling  of  jealousy  toward  the  Chevalier 
d'Ayme  de  Noailles,  who  had  been  sent  from  France  to 
cooperate  with  him  against  the  savages.  But  this  opin- 
ion does  not  do  justice  to  Bienville's  well-known  patriot- 
ism. He  was  so  mortified  and  grieved  at  his  failure 
that  he  expressed  the  desire  of  returning  to  France  as 
soon  as  his  duties  would  permit. 

The  following  letter  of  Bienville  to  the  French  min- 
ister, dated  June  18,  1740,9  is  pathetic  and  interesting: 


i7+o]  BIENVILLE'S  LETTER  127 

The  labors,  the  anxiety  and  the  trouble  of  mind  which  I  have 
had  to  bear  for  the  last  eight  years,  during  which  it  has  pleased 
your  Highness  to  maintain  me  in  this  government,  have  weakened 
my  health  to  such  an  extent  that  I  should  not  have  hesitated  to  sup- 
plicate for  leave  of  absence  to  go  to  France  by  the  first  vessel  of  the 
King,  if  the  interest  of  the  colony  and  that  of  my  reputation  did 
not  require  that  I  should  put  the  finishing  touches  to  the  treaty 
of  peace  which  I  have  begun  with  the  Chickasaws  and  of  which  I 
do  not  believe  that  we  should  hasten  the  conclusion,  in  order  to  leave 
to  the  Choctaws  the  time  of  avenging  upon  the  Chickasaws  and 
their  protectors  the  insult  which  they  have  received  from  them. 
That  remnant  of  war  can  only  weaken  the  Chickasaws  the  more, 
and  disgust  the  English  with  the  commerce  with  our  tribes.  This 
is  the  aim  which  I  propose  to  myself,  and  which  I  hope  to  reach. 
After  I  have  thus  reestablished  peace  and  tranquillity  in  the  col- 
ony, I  desire  to  be  allowed  to  make  a  journey  to  France  to  restore 
my  exhausted  health.  I  beg,  then,  your  Highness  to  be  so  kind  as 
to  ask  the  permission  of  the  King  for  me.  I  do  not  expect  to  be  able 
to  take  advantage  of  it  before  the  return  of  the  vessel  of  1742,  and 
in  case  France  does  not  take  part  in  the  war  that  has  broken  out 
in  Europe. 

In  the  same  letter  Bienville  announces  that  the  Sieur 
de  Noyan,  his  nephew,  is  leaving  for  France  at  his 
own  expense  and  with  the  help  of  his  friends,  as  his 
expenses  in  his  last  campaigns  have  been  far  in  excess  of 
his  pay. 

During  Bienville's  last  administration  he  and  Salmon 
wrote  to  the  minister  on  May  20,  1737,  that  a  former 
sailor  of  the  Company  of  the  Indies,  named  Jean  Louis, 
who  died  in  1736,  being  unmarried  and  without  children, 
had  left  by  a  holographic  will,  to  found  a  hospital,  all 
his  property,  which,  all  debts  paid,  consisted  of  ten  thou- 

128  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [mi 

sand  livres  cash.  In  accord  with  the  curate  and  the  tes- 
tamentary executor,  Bienville  and  Salmon  bought  the 
house  of  Mme.  de  Kolly,  at  the  extremity  of  the  city, 
occupied  formerly  by  the  nuns.  Then  they  bought  beds 
and  other  things  needed  for  a  hospital.  After  this  ex- 
penditure there  remained  five  thousand  livres,  which, 
with  the  help  of  the  inhabitants,  were  to  be  employed  in 
building  a  large  brick  hall.  The  hospital  was  a  great 
relief  to  the  King's  hospital  for  the  soldiers,  where  often 
poor  persons  were  received  who  otherwise  would  have 
died  in  misery.  In  1737  there  were  five  patients  at  the 
hospital.  Jean  Louis's  humble  but  noble  institution  was 
the  beginning  of  the  present  splendid  Charity  Hospital. 
In  1738  Dr.  Prat,  physician  of  the  King's  hospital,  asked 
for  means  to  establish  a  garden  of  medicinal  plants  and 
a  house  for  his  residence.10  He  requested  that  he  have 
a  salary  of  two  thousand  livres,  because  the  inhabitants 
were  accustomed  to  be  treated  for  nothing  by  the  physi- 
cian, and  the  latter  had  no  resource  but  the  favor 
of  the  King.  The  expenses  for  the  military  hospital 
in  1741  were  18,270  livres,  and  for  the  church  17,104 

On  September  11  and  18,  1740,  there  were  two  terrific 
hurricanes,  which  spared  New  Orleans  but  did  great 
damage  at  the  Balize,  at  Biloxi,  and  at  Mobile,  and 
caused  almost  a  famine  by  the  destruction  of  provisions 
and  of  crops.  Bienville  attended  with  great  care  to  the 
needs  of  the  colony  in  the  last  months  of  his  administra- 
tion, and  he  and  Salmon  made  on  June  15,  1742,  the  fol- 
lowing request,  which  was  not  granted: 

1749]  A  PROPOSED   COLLEGE  129 

For  a  long  time  the  inhabitants  of  Louisiana  have  been  making 
representations  on  the  necessity  of  establishing  there  a  college  for 
the  education  of  their  children.  Touched,  on  their  side,  by  the 
advantages  of  such  an  establishment,  they  proposed  to  the  Jesuits 
to  provide  it ;  but  these  religious  excused  themselves  for  want  of 
lodging  and  teachers.  It  should,  however,  be  essential  that  there 
be  one  for  the  humanities  only,  geometry,  geography,  pilotage, 
etc.  The  children  would  learn,  besides,  their  religion,  which 
is  the  basis  of  morals.  The  parents  see  but  too  well  how  young 
men  brought  up  in  luxury  and  idleness  are  of  little  use,  and  how 
much  it  costs  those  of  the  inhabitants  who  are  in  a  condition  to  send 
their  children  to  be  educated.  We  may  even  fear  that  most  of  the 
hitter  young  men,  not  caring  any  more  for  their  country,  will  re- 
turn there  only  to  take  possession  of  the  estates  that  their  parents 
have  left  them.  Another  motive  that  engages  them  to  make  repre- 
sentations is,  that  several  of  the  most  important  persons  of  Vera 
Cruz  would  like  to  be  able  to  send  their  children  to  Louisiana  to 
learn  the  French  language  and  manners.  There  are  some  who 
have  written  on  that  subject  to  the  Jesuit  Fathers,  and  two  children 
had  been  sent  to  them,  without  waiting  for  their  reply.  Several 
ethers  would  have  come  if  there  had  been  lodgings  and  teachers  for 
them.  The  Jesuits  would  have  determined  not  to  receive  any  at 
all  if  they  had  not  considered  that  the  bonds  of  commerce  which 
that  might  bring  about  with  Vera  Cruz  and  other  cities  of  Mexico 
would  contribute  considerably  to  the  advantage  of  the  country. 
These  religious  have  written  to  their  superiors  to  receive  the  orders 
of  Monseigneur  [the  minister]  on  that  subject. 

On  April  30,  and  June  16,  1742,  Salmon  proposed  also 
to  send  into  the  colony  two  brothers  of  the  Christian 
schools  for  the  instruction  of  the  children,  and  he  said 
that  a  brother  named  Malo,  who  had  been  here  for  some 
years,  had  assured  him  that  there  would  be  found  brothers 
who  would  not  ask  anything  better  than  to  accept,  if  they 

130  A  HISTORY  OF  LOUISIANA         [1749 

were  given  three  hundred  livres  salary  for  each  one. 
The  brother  has  written  to  the  order  on  that  subject,  and 
he  has  also  promised  to  share  with  those  who  might  be 
sent  the  little  property  that  he  has  in  the  colony,  which 
may  amount  to  three  thousand  livres.  Salmon  adds  that 
this  establishment  is  so  much  the  more  necessary  as  there 
are  only  soldiers  who  know  nothing  to  give  the  first  les- 
sons to  children.  Those  teachers,  who  will  be  an  expense 
of  only  six  hundred  livres  a  year,  will  be  lodged  without 
its  costing  the  King  anything,  on  a  lot  that  has  been  con- 
ceded to  a  merchant  who  engages  to  build  the  necessary 
house  for  the  school.  On  the  other  hand,  supposing  that 
the  establishment  of  the  college  should  take  place,  one 
should  not  dispense  with  the  other  one  proposed.  In 
fact,  not  only  must  the  children  have  some  instruction  in 
reading  before  going  to  the  college  of  the  Jesuits,  but 
the  house  of  the  latter  is  too  far  from  the  city  for  the 
little  children.  Besides,  each  one,  according  to  his  cir- 
cumstances, gives  more  or  less  education  to  his  children. 
Finally,  with  regard  to  the  college,  the  expense  will  not 
be  great,  and  Salmon  believes  that  the  Jesuits  would  be 
satisfied  with  an  increase  of  board  for  two  teachers  whom 
they  would  take  to  Louisiana,  and  with  some  tons  of 
freight  to  bring  from  France  the  provisions  that  they 
might  need  for  the  boarders. 

In  May,  1743,  Bienville  left  Louisiana  forever;  he 
had  devoted  many  years  to  the  establishment  of  the  col- 
ony. We  shall  see  him  once  more  in  Paris,  endeavoring 
in  vain,  in  his  old  age,  to  prevent  the  transfer  of  his 
cherished  Louisiana  to  the  rule  of  Spain.    His  successor 

i743j  VAUDREUIL  131 

was  the  Marquis  de  Vaudreuil,  who  arrived  in  Louisiana 
on  May  10,  1743.  He  is  known  in  the  history  of  Loui- 
siana as  the  Grand  Marquis,  on  account  of  his  elegant 
manners  and  magnificent  entertainments. 

Vaudreuil  refused  to  make  peace  with  the  Chickasaws 
unless  the  Choctaws  were  included  in  the  treaty,  and  he 
endeavored  to  keep  up  the  enmity  that  existed  between 
the  two  great  Indian  tribes.  Red  Shoe  ( Soulier  Rouge) , 
a  Choctaw  chief,  gave  the  governor  great  trouble  by  his 
restlessness  and  duplicity.  He  was  one  day  with  the 
English,  the  next  day  with  the  French,  and  was  ever 
ready  to  receive  money  or  provisions  from  either  party. 
He  was  the  cause  of  a  civil  war  among  the  Choctaws, 
and  finally  was  killed  by  the  party  friendly  to  the  French. 
The  different  Indian  tribes  harassed  the  colonies  consid- 
erably during  Vaudreuil's  administration,  and  among 
the  persons  killed  by  the  savages  in  1748  was  the  unfor- 
tunate dancing-master  Baby.  He  was  going  along  on 
a  poor  horse,  and  armed  only  with  a  hunting-knife,  when 
he  met  the  savages.  He  defended  himself  bravely  and 
took  refuge  in  a  neighboring  house,  where  he  was  shot 
to  death.  The  fate  of  poor  Baby  must  have  caused  great 
sorrow  to  the  ladies  of  New  Orleans.  Where  did  they 
find  another  master  to  teach  them  the  minuet  and  the 
stately  bows  with  which  they  were  to  salute  the  governor 
and  his  wife?  The  manners  in  Louisiana  were  as  courtly 
as  at  Versailles,  and  the  art  of  dancing  was  indispensable 
in  polite  society  in  the  eighteenth  century. 

On  October  18,  1743,  an  ordinance  was  issued  by  Vau- 
dreuil and  Salmon  which  compelled  the  planters  to  build 

132  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [um 

their  levees  before  January  1,  1744,  under  penalty  of 
confiscation  of  their  lands.  The  governor  and  his  com- 
missary gave  also  much  attention  to  the  question  of  the 
currency  in  the  colony;  but  the  vexed  question  of  card 
or  paper  money  and  of  notes  was  not  settled  then  or  at 
any  other  time  during  the  French  domination  in  Loui- 
siana. Vaudreuil  was  a  wise  administrator,  but  he  cer- 
tainly made  a  mistake  when  he  granted  to  the  Sieur 
Deruisseau  the  exclusive  privilege  of  trading  on  the 
Missouri  and  its  tributaries. 

In  1741  the  great  War  of  the  Austrian  Succession 
broke  out  in  Europe,  and  Maria  Theresa,  aided  by  Eng- 
land, had  to  resist  the  attacks  of  France  and  Prussia. 
Vaudreuil,  on  hearing  of  the  declaration  of  war,  prepared 
to  resist  any  invasion  of  the  British  and  displayed  great 
activity  and  prudence.  Unfortunately,  like  nearly  all 
his  predecessors,  he  quarreled  with  his  intendant  or 
commissaire  ordonnateur,  Lenormant,  who  was  soon  re- 
placed by  Michel  de  la  Rouvilliere.  The  latter  and  the 
governor  issued  interesting  police  regulations  with  re- 
gard to  the  negroes,  and  to  coffee-houses,  of  which  six 
were  allowed  in  New  Orleans.  It  was  forbidden  to  give 
drink  to  any  soldier  or  to  negroes  and  savages,  and  to 
any  one  on  feast  days  and  on  Sundays  during  divine 

The  good  understanding  between  Vaudreuil  and  La 
Rouvilliere  did  not  last  long,  and  the  commissary  wrote 
very  disparaging  letters  about  his  chief.  This  does  not 
seem  to  have  injured  the  governor  with  the  French  gov- 
ernment.   He  belonged  to  an  influential  family,  and  he 

1751]  THE   SUGAR-CANE  133 

obtained  a  large  increase  in  the  number  of  soldiers  to 
serve  in  Louisiana.  He  undertook  an  expedition  against 
the  Chickasaws  in  1752,  but  accomplished  little  besides 
burning  and  devastating  their  country.  The  Marquis, 
however,  remained  in  high  favor  at  court,  and  was  pro- 
moted in  1752  to  the  governorship  of  Canada,  where  he 
displayed  great  ability  and  courage  in  the  French  wars 
with  the  English. 

In  1751,  during  Vaudreuil's  administration,  the  sugar- 
cane was  introduced  in  Louisiana.  A  vessel  carrying 
soldiers  to  the  colony  stopped  at  Hispaniola,  and  the  Je- 
suits on  that  island  asked  to  be  allowed  to  send  to  the 
Jesuits  in  Louisiana  a  quantity  of  cane,  to  see  whether 
it  could  be  cultivated  on  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi. 
The  Jesuit  Fathers  planted  the  cane  on  their  plantation, 
which  was  then  just  above  the  city,  and  to  their  spirit  of 
enterprise  and  their  enlightened  policy  we  owe  one  of  the 
greatest  benefits  ever  rendered  Louisiana,  the  introduc- 
tion of  the  sugar-cane.  Joseph  Dubreuil,  in  1758,  estab- 
lished a  large  sugar  plantation,  and  he  erected  the  first 
sugar-mill  in  Louisiana.  Others  followed  his  example, 
but  the  sugar  was  of  inferior  quality,  for  want  of  a 
knowledge  of  the  granulating  process.  Destrehan,  Du- 
breuil, and  others,  before  1765,  had  made  sugar  that  an- 
swered the  purposes  of  home  consumption,  but  in  that 
year  a  ship-load  was  sent  to  France.  The  granulating 
process  had  been  so  imperfect  that  half  of  the  sugar  es- 
caped from  the  casks  before  the  vessel  reached  port. 

The  Jesuits  were  also  cultivating  on  their  land  indigo 
and  the  myrtle-wax  shrub,  which,  for  a  time,  was  con- 

134         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [wra 

sidered  very  valuable.  It  produced  a  wax  that  was  ex- 
tensively used  for  making  candles. 

The  ships  that  brought  the  sugar-cane  brought  also 
sixty  poor  girls  who  were  sent  at  the  King's  expense.11 
They  were  the  last  that  the  mother  country  supplied,  and 
were  given  in  marriage  to  soldiers  whose  good  conduct 
entitled  them  to  a  discharge.  Land  was  allotted  to  each 
couple,  with  a  cow  and  a  calf,  a  cock  and  five  hens,  a  gun, 
an  ax,  and  a  hoe;  and  during  the  first  three  years  ra- 
tions were  issued  to  them,  with  a  small  quantity  of  pow- 
der, shot,  and  grain  for  seed. 

In  1752  Macarty  took  command  of  Fort  Chartres  of 
the  Illinois,  which  district  comprised  six  villages:  Kas- 
kaskia,  Fort  Chartres,  Caokias,  Prairie  des  Rochers,  St. 
Philip,  and  Ste.  Genevieve.  In  1754  Colonel  Washing- 
ton surprised  the  French  under  Jumonville  near  the 
Great  Meadows,  and  the  latter  was  killed.12  His  brother, 
Louis  Coulon  de  Villiers,  was  sent  by  Contre-Coeur,  com- 
mandant at  Fort  Duquesne,  to  avenge  Jumonville's 
death.  De  Villiers  attacked  Washington  at  Fort  Neces- 
sity, and  forced  him  to  capitulate  on  July  4,  1754. 

Bossu,  a  French  officer  stationed  in  Louisiana,  wrote 
from  New  Orleans  on  July  1,  1751,  that  Governor  Vau- 
dreuil  received  very  hospitably  the  troops  that  had  come 
from  France.  He  spoke  of  the  inhabitants  of  Louisiana, 
and  said: 13 

One  calls  Creoles  those  who  are  born  of  a  Frenchman  and  a 
Frenchwoman  or  of  a  European  woman.  The  Creoles,  in  general, 
are  very  brave,  tall  and  well  made ;  they  have  many  talents  for  the 
arts  and  the  sciences ;  but  as  they  cannot  cultivate  them  perfectly 

w«]  KERLEREC  135 

on  account  of  the  scarcity  of  good  teachers,  the  rich  and  sensible 
fathers  do  not  fail  to  send  their  children  to  France,  as  to  the 
first  school  in  the  world  in  all  tilings.  As  to  the  sex  that  has  no 
other  duty  to  perform  but  that  of  pleasing,  it  is  born  here  with  that 
advantage  and  has  no  need  to  go  to  seek  the  deceitful  art  in 

Speaking  of  New  Orleans,  Bossu  said: 

That  town  is  situated  on  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi,  one  of  the 
largest  rivers  in  the  world,  since  it  waters  more  than  eight  hun- 
dred leagues  of  known  country.  Its  pure  and  delicious  waters 
flow  for  forty  leagues  in  the  midst  of  a  number  of  plantations 
which  form  a  charming  sight  on  its  two  banks,  where  one  enjoys 
abundantly  the  pleasures  of  hunting,  fishing,  and  all  the  other 
delights  of  life. 

Bossu  regrets  very  much  the  departure  of  the  Marquis 
de  Vaudreuil,  and  mentions  in  no  flattering  terms  the 
latter's  successor,  Kerlerec,14  who  arrived  in  New  Or- 
leans on  February  3,  1753,  saying:  "He  has  qualities 
of  heart  very  different  from  those  of  his  predecessor ;  but 
this  new  governor  may  give  as  an  excuse  that  he  did  not 
come  so  far  only  for  a  change  of  air."  Kerlerec,  however, 
was  a  brave  captain  in  the  royal  navy,  and  had  distin- 
guished himself  in  several  engagements.  He  agreed  ad- 
mirably, strange  to  say,  with  the  commissary  d'Auber- 
ville.  Some  time  after  his  arrival  in  the  colony  occurred 
a  tragic  event,  which  Bossu  relates  with  great  indig- 

Not  far  from  Ship  Island,  where  Iberville  landed  in 
February,  1699,  is  Cat  Island.    In  1757,  says  Bossu,  Gov- 

136  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [hot 

ernor  Kerlerec  appointed  the  Sieur  Duroux  as  comman- 
dant on  that   island,   and  gave  him  a   detachment  of 
marines  and  of  the  Swiss  regiment  of  Halwyl.     Du- 
roux acted  in  a  most  arbitrary  and  cruel  manner:  he 
compelled  the  soldiers  to  cultivate  his  garden  and  to 
do  all  kinds  of  work  for  him,  and  punished  those  who 
refused  to  submit  to  him  by  tying  them  naked  to  a 
tree,  exposed  to  the  mosquitoes.     He  gave  the  garrison 
bread  made  of  flour  that  had  been  taken  from  the  wreck 
of  a  Spanish  ship,  and  sold  for  his  own  profit  the  flour 
sent  by  the  government.     The  soldiers  complained  to 
Kerlerec,  but  the  governor  refused  to  listen  to  them. 
They  resolved,  therefore,  to  take  justice  into  their  own 
hands,  and  one  day,  when  Duroux  was  returning  from 
a  hunting  expedition,  he  was  shot  by  the  men  on  shore, 
as  soon  as  he  landed,  and  his  body  was  thrown  into 
the  sea.     The  soldiers  then  liberated  a  planter  named 
Beaudreau,1  r>  whom  Duroux  had  put  in  irons  for  re- 
fusing to  share  with  him  some  goods  that  had  been  saved 
from  the  wreck  of  a  Spanish  ship.     The  revolted  sol- 
diers pillaged  the  stores  on  Ship  Island,  and  compelled 
Beaudreau  to  show  them  the  route  leading  to  the  Caro- 
linas.     When  they  arrived  in  the  country  of  an  Indian 
chief  called  by  the  French  the  Emperor  of  the  Kaouytas, 
they  dismissed  Beaudreau  and  gave  him  a  certificate, 
which  proved  that  they  had  forced  him  to  serve  as  guide. 
Part  of  the  soldiers  went  to  the  English  colonies,  but 
those  who  remained  with  the  savages  were  soon  captured. 
A  Swiss  corporal  committed  suicide  to  avoid  the  horrible 
torture  that  he  knew  awaited  him,  and  the  other  crim- 

1758]  TRAGEDY  AT  CAT  ISLAND  137 

inals  were  taken  to  Mobile.  In  the  mean  time  the  two 
sons  of  Beaudreau  arrived  from  New  Orleans  at  Mobile, 
bearers,  without  their  knowledge,  of  an  order  to  the 
commandant  De  Velle  to  arrest  Beaudreau,  who  was 
then  on  his  plantation  and  not  suspecting  that  he  would 
be  troubled  for  the  involuntary  part  he  had  taken  in  the 
tragedy  at  Cat  Island.  The  accused  were  taken  to  New 
Orleans  and  judged  by  a  court  martial.  Beaudreau  and 
one  soldier  were  condemned  to  be  broken  on  the  wheel 
and  their  bodies  thrown  into  the  river,  and  a  Swiss  soldier 
was  condemned  to  be  placed  in  a  coffin  and  be  sawed  alive 
through  the  middle  of  the  body,  according  to  the  custom 
of  the  Swiss  regiment. 

We  regret  that  such  a  cruel  execution  should  have 
taken  place  in  New  Orleans  in  1758,  but  we  should  hardly 
expect  to  find  there  a  more  humane  administration  of 
justice  than  in  Europe,  where  criminals  were  tortured  in 
a  horrible  manner,  as  is  proved  by  the  execution  of  Da- 
miens,  the  would-be  murderer  of  Louis  XV.  It  is  im- 
possible to  excuse  the  execution  of  Beaudreau,  who  was 
innocent  and  was  highly  esteemed  in  the  colony.  He 
had  great  influence  with  the  Indians,  and  had  been 
adopted  by  the  Choctaws  as  a  member  of  their  tribe. 

In  1756  the  Seven  Years'  War  began  in  Europe,  but 
hostilities  had  already  begun  in  America  between  the 
French  and  the  English.  The  latter  threatened  Louisi- 
ana continually,  and  Kerlerec  had  great  trouble  in  keep- 
ing the  powerful  tribes  of  the  Choctaws  and  the  Aliba- 
mons  faithful  to  the  French.  The  friendship  of  the 
Indians  had  really  to  be  bought  continually  with  presents 

138  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [itsb 

which,  said  Kerlerec,  were  cheaper  than  would  be  the 
expenses  of  war.  He  reported  that  in  1758  the  Choctaws 
had  fifty-two  villages  and  four  thousand  warriors,  and 
the  Alibamons  three  thousand  warriors.  Yet,  in  spite  of 
the  menacing  attitude  of  the  English,  the  number  of 
troops  in  Louisiana  was  greatly  diminished  in  1759  by 
order  of  the  French  government.  Little  attention  was 
paid  to  the  colonies  by  the  wretched  King  Louis  XV, 
who  was  disgracing  France  by  his  dissolute  life  and  by 
his  weak  and  incompetent  administration.  Help  was 
even  asked  of  Spain  for  Louisiana  in  1761,  as  it  was  said 
that  the  province  served  as  a  barrier  between  the  English 
and  the  Spanish  colonies.  Louisiana  was  as  badly  gov- 
erned as  France,  and  discord  reigned  during  Kerlerec's 
administration.  First  there  was  a  so-called  religious  war 
between  the  Capuchins  and  the  Jesuits,  represented  re- 
spectively by  Father  Dagobert  and  Father  Beaudoin; 
then  there  were  violent  dissensions  between  the  governor 
and  the  commissary  Rochemore,  and  the  colony  not  only 
made  no  progress  but  seemed  to  be  retrograding.  The 
unsuccessful  wars  of  Louis  XV  hardly  allowed  any  help 
to  be  given  to  Louisiana,  and  the  unwise  financial  policy 
of  the  government  caused  great  distress  by  the  instability 
of  the  currency.  In  June,  1761,  Rochemore  was  replaced 
by  Foucault,  who  soon  began  the  game  of  duplicity  that 
nearly  cost  him  his  life  a  few  years  later.  He  appeared 
to  be  on  good  terms  with  Kerlerec,  and  yet  his  reports 
to  the  French  minister  were  very  damaging  to  the  gov- 

Among  the  officers  who  sided  with  Rochemore  against 

1760]  OPPONENTS    OF    KERLEREC  139 

Kerlerec  were  some  of  the  most  distinguished  men  in 
Louisiana,  such  as  Grondel,  D'Hauterive,  D'Herneu- 
ville,  Belle-Isle,  and  Marigny  de  Mandeville.  The  last- 
named,  says  Bossu,  formed  the  plan  of  making  new  dis- 
coveries in  the  direction  of  Barataria  Island,  and  made 
a  general  map  of  the  colony.  Simarre  de  Belle-Isle  had 
had  a  most  romantic  career.  In  1719,  while  on  board 
a  vessel  bound  for  Louisiana,  he  went  ashore  in  St.  Ber- 
nard Bay  with  four  friends  in  a  boat  that  had  been  sent 
to  get  drinking-water.  Having  gone  hunting,  Belle- 
Isle  and  his  friends  were  abandoned  by  the  French  vessel, 
and  after  a  few  days  Belle-Isle  alone  survived.  He  wan- 
dered about,  and  finally  gave  himself  up  to  the  Attakapas 
Indians,  who  were  cannibals.  He  was  saved  by  a  widow 
who  took  him  for  her  slave,  and  after  some  time  he  was 
adopted  as  a  warrior  by  the  tribe.  He  was  rescued  by 
St.  Denis,  commandant  at  Natchitoches,  who  had  heard 
through  some  Indians  of  the  presence  of  a  white  man 
among  the  Attakapas.  Bienville,  Avho  was  then  gov- 
ernor, received  Belle-Isle  very  kindly,  and  the  former 
Indian  brave  soon  became  again  a  trusted  French  officer. 
The  war  between  the  English  and  the  French  in  Amer- 
ica ended  by  the  defeat  of  the  latter,  in  spite  of  a  heroic 
resistance.  In  1758  Fort  Duquesne  was  captured,  and 
in  a  despatch  from  Macarty,  commandant  at  Fort  Char- 
tres,  Aubry,  De  Villiers,  and  De  Verges  were  mentioned 
for  their  bravery.  The  garrison  of  Fort  Duquesne  went 
to  New  Orleans,  and  Kerlerec  had  barracks  erected  for 
them  in  the  lower  part  of  the  town.  Some  of  the  inhabi- 
tants left  the  country  invaded  by  the  English,  and  set- 



tied  in  Louisiana.  In  1754  several  families  from  Lor- 
raine had  arrived  in  the  colony  and  had  been  sent  as 
settlers  to  the  German  Coast,  a  few  miles  above  New  Or- 
leans, on  the  Mississippi  River. 

The  Seven  Years'  War  ended  disastrously  for  France 
in  Europe,  Canada,  and  India,  and  the  French  King 
lost  all  his  colonies  in  America,  and  nearly  all  in  India. 
Louis  XY,  in  his  selfishness,  cared  not  for  the  fate  of  the 
people  who  had  struggled  valiantly  to  remain  French- 
men. He  gave  little  help  to  Canada,  and  the  loss  of  that 
province  induced  him  to  get  rid  of  Louisiana,  which  had 
been  a  source  of  expense  to  the  mother  country.  The 
corrupt  monarch  who  reigned  at  Versailles  did  not  un- 
derstand the  attachment  of  the  Louisianians  for  France, 
and  gave  their  country  to  Spain  without  consulting  them. 



The  Cession  of  Louisiana  to  Spain— The 
Revolution  of  1768 

Choiseul— The  treaty  of  Fontainebleau  in  1763— The  treaty  of  Paris  in 
1763— Names  of  officials  and  officers  in  1763— Damaging  report  against 
Kerlerec— Expulsion  of  the  Jesuits— West  Florida— The  Indians  regret  the 
French— Transfer  of  Mobile  to  the  British— The  Indians  leave  the  British 
— Little  Manchac— First  arrival  of  the  Acadians— Establishment  of  a  print- 
ing-press—Letter of  Louis  XV  announcing  the  cession  to  Spain— Charles 
III  of  Spain— Nyon  de  Villiers  abandons  Fort  Chartres— Death  of  D' Abba- 
die — Aubry — Discontent  of  the  colonists — Arrivals  of  Acadians— Sketch 
of  the  expulsion  of  the  Acadians  by  the  British— Names  of  officers  at  end  of 
French  domination— Don  Antonio  de  Ulloa — UUoa's  unwise  ordinance  of 
September  6,  1766— Petition  of  the  merchants  of  New  Orleans  —  Ulloa's 
haughtiness  and  lack  of  tact— Intense  cold  in  1769— Aubry's  position— The 
Revolution  of  1768 — The  Council  adopts  Lafreniere's  conclusions— Fou- 
cault's  opinion — Aubry's  protest — Ulloa's  departure— Delegates  sent  to 
France— Letters  to  Praslin  and  to  the  King — Address  of  the  Council— In- 
vestigation about  "vexations"  committed  by  Ulloa— Letter  of  the  inhabi- 
tants to  Praslin — Ulloa's  council— Life  and  works  of  Ulloa— Baudry  des 
Loziere's  opinion  of  Lafreniere — Lafreniere's  chief  associates— Noble  sen- 
timents  of  the  Louisianians — Expulsion  of  the   Spanish   frigate. 

N  July  4,  1754,  when  Washington 
capitulated  at  Fort  Necessity,  the 
French  remained  sole  masters  of  the 
entire  Mississippi  valley  and  of 
Canada;  but  in  September,  1759, 
the  heroic  commanders  Montcalm 
and  Wolfe  fell  at  Quebec,  which 
was  captured  by  the  British,  and  on  September  8,  1760, 


142         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ura 

by  the  capitulation  at  Montreal,  Canada  ceased  to  be  a 
French  province.  A  few  months  later,  while  the  Duke  de 
Choiseul !  was  endeavoring  to  bring  about  peace  between 
France  and  England,  he  said  to  Stanley,  according  to 
Bancroft,  "  I  wonder  that  your  great  Pitt  should  be  so  at- 
tached to  the  acquisition  of  Canada.  The  inferiority  of  its 
population  will  never  suffer  it  to  be  dangerous,  and,  being 
in  the  hands  of  France,  it  will  always  be  of  service  to 
you  to  keep  your  colonies  in  that  dependence  which  they 
will  not  fail  to  shake  off  the  moment  Canada  shall  be 
ceded  ";  and  Bancroft  adds,  "  And  he  readily  consented 
to  abandon  that  province  to  England."  2  Choiseul  was 
a  wise  minister,  but  he  had  not  been  able  to  repair  the 
harm  done  by  the  corrupt,  incompetent,  and  tortuous  pol- 
icy of  Louis  XV,  who  alone  should  be  held  responsible 
for  the  disasters  of  his  reign.  On  August  15,  1761, 
Choiseul  concluded  the  "  Family  Compact,"  which  was 
designed  to  unite  all  the  branches  of  the  house  of  Bour- 
bon as  a  counterpoise  to  the  maritime  ascendancy  of  Eng- 
land. Spain  promised  to  declare  war  against  England 
on  May  1,  1762,  if  peace  was  not  concluded.  The  great 
William  Pitt  continued  the  war,  but,  owing  to  the  hostil- 
ity of  George  III,  he  resigned  his  office.  The  success  of 
the  English  continued,  however,  and  Martinique  and 
other  West  India  islands,  Havana,  and  Manila  were  cap- 
tured. Finally,  preliminaries  of  peace  were  signed  on 
November  3,  1762,  between  France  and  Spain  on  the 
one  side,  and  England  and  Portugal  on  the  other.  On 
the  same  day,  by  an  act  passed  at  Fontainebleau  and 
signed  by  Choiseul  for  France  and  by  Grimaldi  for 

n63]  CESSION  TO  SPAIN  143 

Spain,  Louis  XV,  "  by  the  pure  effect  of  the  generosity 
of  his  heart,  and  on  account  of  the  affection  and  friend- 
ship "  which  he  felt  for  his  cousin,  Charles  III  of  Spain, 
made  to  the  latter  a  gift  of  "  the  country  known  by  the 
name  of  Louisiana,  as  well  as  New  Orleans  and  the  isl- 
and in  which  that  city  is  situated."  s  The  King  of  Spain 
accepted  the  gift  on  November  13,  1762.  The  King  of 
France  had  been  touched  by  the  sacrifices  made  by  his 
Catholic  Majesty  to  bring  about  peace  and  "  was  de- 
sirous to  give  to  him  a  proof  of  the  great  interest  he  took 
in  his  satisfaction  and  in  the  advantages  of  his  crown." 
It  is  a  pity  that  Choiseul  should  have  signed  such  a  dis- 
graceful state  paper.  Bancroft  says  of  him:  "  It  was 
the  judgment  of  Pitt,  that  he  was  the  greatest  minister 
France  had  seen  since  the  days  of  Richelieu.  In  depth, 
refinement,  and  quipk  perception,  he  had  no  superior; 
and  his  freedom  from  prejudice  opened  his  mind  and 
affections  to  the  philosophic  movement  of  the  age."  It 
was  Choiseul  who  acquired  from  Genoa,  in  1768,  the 
island  of  Corsica,  where  Napoleon  Bonaparte  was  born 
on  August  15,  1769.  When  Madame  Du  Barry  caused 
the  fall  of  Choiseul  in  1770,  the  doom  of  the  monarchy 
Avas  sealed,  and  Louis  XV  could  truly  say,  "  After  me 
the  deluge." 

The  treaty  of  Fontainebleau  was  kept  secret;  and  on 
February  10,  1763,  the  shameful  treaty  of  Paris  was 
signed.  France  ceded  to  Great  Britain,  by  article  seven, 
the  river  and  port  of  Mobile  and  all  the  possessions  on 
the  left  bank  of  the  Mississippi,  with  the  exception  of  the 
town  of  New  Orleans  and  the  island  in  which  it  is  situ- 


ated.  Spain,  in  its  turn,  ceded  to  Great  Britain  the 
province  of  Florida,  with  the  fort  of  St.  Augustine,  and 
all  the  country  to  the  east  and  southeast  of  the  Missis- 
sippi. Havana  was  returned  to  Spain,  and  Guadeloupe 
and  Martinique  to  France. 

The  King  of  France  continued  to  act  as  the  possessor 
of  Louisiana,  since  the  treaty  of  Fontainebleau  of  No- 
vember 3,  1762,  was  still  kept  secret.  On  January  1, 
1763,  Nicolas  Chauvin  de  Lafreniere  was  named  at- 
torney-general; on  February  10,  1763,  Foucault  was 
named  controller;  and  on  March  16  the  King  announced 
that,  as  he  had  decided  to  reorganize  the  troops  serving 
in  his  province  of  Louisiana,  and  to  keep  at  New  Orleans 
only  a  counting-house,  with  four  companies  of  infantry 
merely  for  protection  and  police  duty,  he  had  established 
there  a  director  and  commandant.4  DAbbadie  was  ap- 
pointed to  that  office  and  arrived  in  New  Orleans  on  June 
29,  1763.  Aubry  was  named  commandant  of  the  four 
companies  of  infantry.  The  captains  were  De  Maze- 
lieres,  Du  Plessis  de  la  Perriere,  De  Vaugine ;  the  lieuten- 
ants, De  l'Hommer,  Laforest  de  Laumont,  De  Belle- 
Isle,  Cabaret  de  Trepis;  the  ensigns,  La  Grancpurt,  De 
Yin,  Vaucourt  de  St.  Amant,  Dubralet;  majors  at  New 
Orleans,  De  Grandmaison,  Regnier;  captain  of  the  port, 
Faures;  surveyor,  De  Lalande. 

During  Kerlerec's  administration  there  had  been  great 
discord  in  the  colony,  between  the  Capuchins  and  the 
Jesuits,  and  between  the  governor  and  the  royal  com- 
missary, Rochemore.  The  latter  brought  charges  against 
Kerlerec ;  an  investigation  was  ordered,  and  the  following 

1763]         DEPARTURE  OF  KERLEREC  145 

damaging  report  against  the  governor  was  made:  "  It 
follows  from  the  papers  submitted  to  our  inspection,  1st, 
that  Rochemore  has  kept  himself  within  the  limits  of 
his  office,  while  Kerlerec  has  always  abused  his  powers. 
2d,  that  Kerlerec  has  not  only  violated  the  ordinances 
by  receiving  interloping  vessels,  without  being  compelled 
by  necessity,  since  at  that  time  the  colony  was  not  in 
want,  but  that  he  has  committed  a  great  imprudence, 
knowing  that  those  interlopers  were  spies;  that,  besides, 
it  is  probable  that  interest  has  guided  him  in  these  circum- 
stances, his  secretary  and  himself  having  relations  with 
Jamaica,  whence  came  most  of  the  interlopers.  Another 
fact  is,  that  the  interlopers,  according  to  a  law  established 
by  M.  de  Kerlerec,  were  to  land  at  New  Orleans,  and 
nowhere  else  in  the  colony;  otherwise,  they  were  not 
admitted,  whatever  were  the  needs  of  the  colony;  that, 
besides,  Kerlerec,  according  to  the  allegation  of  Roche- 
more,  has  received  ten  thousand  livres  from  an  inter- 
loper to  assure  himself  that  he  would  return  to  bring 
what  he  (Kerlerec)  needed;  but  that,  on  his  return, 
the  said  interloper  has  not  been  able,  by  order  of  Ker- 
lerec, to  go  up  the  river  to  New  Orleans,  or  to  get  back 
his  money."  B 

On  the  arrival  of  D'Abbadie,  Kerlerec  departed  for 
France,  where  he  was  thrown  into  the  Bastille.  He  was 
liberated  some  time  afterward  and  died  in  1770.  He 
had  rendered  great  services  in  the  French  navy  before 
he  became  governor  of  Louisiana.  In  spite  of  the  report 
against  him,  it  is  not  now  believed  that  he  was  dishonest. 
The  probability  is,  that,  at  the  time  of  the  governor's 

146         A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nra 

downfall,  Rochemore  was  more  powerful  at  court  than 

M.  de  Vergennes,  minister  of  Louis  XVI,  wrote  for 
that  King  a  paper  on  Louisiana,  in  which  he  gives  a 
rapid  description  of  the  country  and  a  brief  history  of 
the  colony,  from  its  settlement  by  Iberville  to  the  trans- 
fer to  Spain.  He  calls  attention  to  the  numerous  faults 
committed  in  the  administration  of  Louisiana,  and  to  the 
injustice  so  often  done  to  the  Indians.  He  ends  his  paper 
by  these  noble  and  energetic  words:  "  On  the  conclusion 
of  the  treaty  of  Versailles,  one  should  have  remembered 
that  when  Camillus  was  named  dictator,  his  first  act  of 
authority  was  to  break  the  treaty  that  was  about  to  be 
concluded  with  the  Gauls;  he  did  not  calculate  the  des- 
perate state  in  which  the  republic  was,  but  he  wished  to 
prevent  its  dishonor." 

The  Jesuits  were  driven  from  Louisiana  in  1763,  and 
their  property,  which  was  confiscated,  was  sold  for  about 
nine  hundred  thousand  livres.  They  returned  in  1835 
and  established  flourishing  schools. 

The  province  of  West  Florida  was  erected  from  that 
part  of  Louisiana  ceded  by  Spain  to  Great  Britain, 
together  with  Pensacola,  and  Captain  George  Johnston 
was  appointed  governor.  Major  Loftus  was  appointed 
commandant  at  the  Illinois,  and  arrived  at  Pensacola 
with  Captain  Johnston.  The  former  endeavored  to  pro- 
ceed to  his  post  by  boat  from  New  Orleans ;  but  his  party 
was  fired  upon  by  the  Indians,  and  he  was  obliged  to 
return  to  New  Orleans,  whence  he  sailed  to  Pensacola. 
The  Indians  regretted  very  much  the  domination  of  the 

nw]  LITTLE  MANCHAC  147 

French,  ami  when  the  latter,  as  they  abandoned  Canada, 
sailed  down  the  valley  of  the  Mississippi,  "  they  received 
on  every  side,"  says  Bancroft,  "  the  expressions  of  pas- 
sionate attachment  from  the  many  tribes  of  red  men." 

Fort  Conde,  at  Mobile,  received  the  name  of  Fort 
Charlotte,  for  the  wife  of  George  III,  and  on  October 
20,  1763,  Mobile  and  that  part  of  Louisiana  ceded  by 
France  to  Great  Britain  were  transferred  to  Robert 
Farmar,  British  commissioner,  by  De  Velle,  comman- 
dant, and  Fazende,  acting  commissaire  ordonnateur.  On 
November  23,  Fort  Tombecbe  was  delivered  also  to  the 

Some  of  the  Indians  left  the  country  ceded  to  the 
English,  and  settled  among  the  French.  D'Abbadie 
allowed  the  Tensas  and  the  Alibamons  to  establish  them- 
selves on  the  Mississippi  near  Bayou  Lafourche.  The 
English,  on  their  way  up  the  river  to  Bayou  Manchac 
and  Baton  Rouge,  stopped  a  little  above  New  Orleans, 
and  an  illegal  traffic  with  them  was  overlooked  on  account 
of  its  great  advantage  to  the  inhabitants.  "  The  spot," 
says  Martin,  "  at  which  they  stopped  on  their  way  up  the 
river,  under  the  pretense  of  going  to  Bayou  Manchac 
and  Baton  Rouge,  received  the  appellation  of  Little 

On  April  6,  1764,  D'Abbadie  announced  the  arrival  in 
New  Orleans  of  four  Acadian  families,  twenty  persons. 
They  had  come  from  New  York. 

In  1764  D'Abbadie  obtained  for  the  Sieur  Braud  the 
exclusive  privilege  of  establishing  a  printing-press  and 
selling  books  in  the  colony.     Braud's  press  was  to  be  of 


great  value  to  the  colonists  in  their  heroic  struggle  in 
1768  against  Spanish  oppression. 

In  Octoher,  1764,  Director-General  dAbbadie  re- 
ceived an  official  communication  announcing  the  cession 
to  Spain  and  ordering  the  transfer  of  the  province  to 
the  Spanish  officials.  The  letter  is  of  such  importance 
that  we  translate  it  in  full  from  the  original: 

At  Versailles,  April  21,  1764. 

M.  d'Abbadie,  by  a  private  act  passed  at  Fontainebleau,  on 
November  3,  1762,  having  ceded,  of  my  free  will,  to  my  very 
dear  and  beloved  cousin,  the  King  of  Spain,  and  to  his  successors 
and  heirs,  in  full  ownership,  purely  and  simply,  and  without 
any  exception,  all  the  county  known  by  the  name  of  Louisiana, 
as  well  as  New  Orleans  and  the  island  in  which  it  is  situated; 
and  by  another  act  passed  at  the  Escurial,  signed  by  the  King 
of  Spain,  on  November  13  of  the  same  year,  His  Catholic  Ma- 
jesty having  accepted  the  cession  of  the  country  of  Louisiana 
and  of  the  city  of  New  Orleans,  according  to  the  copy  of  the 
said  acts  which  you  will  find  hereto  annexed,  I  write  you  this 
letter  to  tell  you  that  my  intention  is,  that  on  receipt  of  the 
present  letter  and  of  the  copies  annexed,  whether  they  reach  you 
by  the  officers  of  His  Catholic  Majesty,  or  directly  by  the  French 
vessels  to  which  they  will  be  entrusted,  you  should  deliver  into 
the  hands  of  the  governor  or  any  officer  appointed  to  that  effect 
by  the  King  of  Spain,  the  said  country  and  colony  of  Louisiana, 
and  dependent  posts,  together  with  the  city  and  the  island  of 
New  Orleans,  such  as  they  shall  be  on  the  day  of  the  said  cession, 
wishing  that  in  the  future  they  should  belong  to  His  Catholic 
Majesty  to  be  governed  and  administered  by  his  governors  and 
officers,  as  belonging  to  him  in  full  ownership  and  without  ex- 

I  order  you,  in  consequence,  as  soon  as  the  governor  and  troops 

1764]  LETTER  OF  LOUIS  XV  149 

of  that  monarch  shall  have  arrived  in  the  said  country  and  col- 
ony, to  put  them  in  possession,  and  to  withdraw  all  the  officers, 
soldiers,  and  employes  at  my  service  who  shall  he  in  garrison 
there,  to  send  to  France,  or  to  my  other  colonies  of  America, 
those  who  would  not  wish  to  remain  under  the  Spanish  domination. 

I  desire,  besides,  that  after  the  entire  evacuation  of  the  said 
port  and  city  of  New  Orleans,  you  should  collect  all  the  papers 
relative  to  the  finances  and  to  the  administration  of  the  colony 
of  Louisiana,  and  come  to  France  to  render  an  account  of  them. 

My  intention  is,  nevertheless,  that  you  should  deliver  to  the 
said  governor,  or  officer  appointed  for  that  purpose,  all  the 
papers  or  documents  that  concern  specially  the  government  of 
this  colony,  either  with  reference  to  the  savages  or  the  different 
posts,  after  taking  proper  receipts  for  your  discharge,  and  that 
you  should  give  to  the  said  governor  all  the  information  in  your 
power,  to  place  him  in  a  condition  to  govern  the  said  colony 
to  the  reciprocal  satisfaction  of  the  two  nations. 

It  is  my  will  that  there  be  an  inventory  signed  double  between 
you  and  the  commissary  of  His  Catholic  Majesty,  of  all  the  ar- 
tillery, and  all  effects,  stores,  hospitals,  sea  vessels,  etc.,  which 
belong  in  the  said  colony,  in  order  that  after  you  have  placed  the 
said  commissary  in  possession  of  the  civil  buildings  and  edifices, 
there  may  be  drawn  a  proces  verbal  of  the  valuation  of  the  said 
effects  which  will  remain  in  the  colony,  and  of  which  the  price 
will  be  reimbursed  by  His  Catholic  Majesty  according  to  the 
said  valuation. 

I  hope,  at  the  same  time,  for  the  advantage  and  tranquillity 
of  the  inhabitants  of  the  colony  of  Louisiana,  and  I  flatter  myself, 
in  consequence  of  the  friendship  and  affection  of  His  Catholic 
Majesty,  that  he  will  be  pleased  to  give  orders  to  his  governor  or 
any  other  officer  employed  at  his  service  in  the  said  colony  and 
city  of  New  Orleans,  that  the  ecclesiastics  and  religious  houses 
attending  to  curacies  and  missions  shall  continue  to  perform 
their  functions  and  to  enjoy  the  rights,  privileges,  and  exemp- 

150  A   HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [itm 

tions  that  have  been  granted  to  them  by  the  titles  of  their  estab- 
lishments ;  that  the  judges  of  ordinary  jurisdiction,  as  well  as 
the  Superior  Council,  shall  continue  to  administer  justice  ac- 
cording to  the  laws,  forms,  and  usages  of  the  colony ;  that  the  in- 
habitants shall  be  confirmed  in  the  ownership  of  their  lands  in 
accordance  with  the  concessions  made  by  the  governors  and  com- 
missaries [commlssaires  ordonnateurs]  of  the  said  colony;  and 
that  the  said  concessions  shall  be  considered  and  held  as  confirmed 
by  His  Catholic  Majesty,  although  they  may  not  yet  have  been 
confirmed  by  me;  hoping,  moreover,  that  His  Catholic  Majesty 
will  be  pleased  to  give  to  his  subjects  of  Louisiana  the  marks 
of  protection  and  good  will  which  they  have  received  under  my 
domination,  and  which  only  the  misfortunes  of  war  have  pre- 
vented from  being  more  effectual. 

I  order  you  to  have  my  present  letter  registered  at  the  Su- 
perior Council  of  New  Orleans,  in  order  that  the  different  es- 
tates of  the  colony  be  informed  of  its  contents,  and  may  have 
recourse  to  it,  if  need  be,  the  present  letter  being  to  no  other 

I  pray  to  God,  M.  d'Abbadie,  to  have  you  in  his  holy  protec- 
tion. [Signed  by  the  King  and  the  Duke  de  Choiseul.]  G 

Louisiana,  therefore,  was  to  pass  from  the  domination 
of  Louis  XV  to  that  of  Charles  III.  Had  it  not  been 
that  they  were  handed  over  like  cattle  by  one  master  to 
another,  the  Louisianians  should  have  felt  relieved  to 
be  no  longer  the  subjects  of  the  infamous  King  who  had 
been  the  cause  of  the  disasters  of  his  country.  Charles 
III  of  Spain  was  a  far  better  man  and  an  abler  ruler  than 
the  Bourbon  of  Versailles.  He  was  the  son  of  Philip 
V,  whom  the  armies  of  his  grandfather,  Louis  XIV,  had 
maintained  on  the  throne  of  Spain.  Charles  was  born  in 
1716;  his  mother  was  Elizabeth  Farnese,  and  in  1731  he 

17«4]  CHARLES  HI  151 

took  possession  of  the  duchies  of  Parma  and  Placentia, 
which  had  heen  guaranteed  to  him  by  treaties  in  case 
of  extinction  of  the  Farneses.  During  the  War  of  the 
Polish  Succession  he  took  possession  of  Naples  and  of 
Sicily,  and  he  was  recognized  as  King  of  the  Two  Sici- 
lies by  the  treaty  of  Vienna  in  1738.  On  the  death  of 
his  brother,  Ferdinand  VI,  in  1759,  he  became  King 
of  Spain  and  ceded  the  Two  Sicilies  to  one  of  his  sons. 
Charles  III  died  in  1788  and  was  succeeded  by  his  son 
Charles  IV,  during  whose  reign  Louisiana  was  re-ceded 
to  France  in  1800.  The  signature,  so  haughty  and  so 
conceited,  "  Yo  el  Rey,"  of  the  Spanish  monarchs  re- 
placed for  many  years,  on  official  documents  concerning 
Louisiana,  the  simple  "  Louis  "  of  the  French  monarchs. 

On  June  15,  1704,  Nyon  de  Villiers,  commandant  at 
the  Illinois,  after  waiting  a  long  time  for  the  arrival  of 
the  British,  left  the  country  ceded  to  the  latter,  and  ar- 
rived in  Xew  Orleans  on  July  2,  with  six  officers,  sixty- 
three  soldiers,  and  eighty  civilians,  including  the  women 
and  the  children.  The  savages  were  very  hostile  to 
the  British,  and  it  was  not  till  1765  that  they  took  pos- 
session of  Fort  Chartres.  "  St.  Ange,"  says  Martin, 
"  the  French  commandant  there,  crossed  the  Mississippi 
with  a  number  of  his  countrymen,  who  were  desirous  to 
follow  the  white  flag,  and  laid  the  foundation  of  the  town 
of  St.  Louis,7  which,  with  that  of  St.  Genevieve,  was  the 
first  settlement  of  the  country  now  known  as  the  State 
of  Missouri." 

On  February  4,  1705,  DAbbadie  died,  greatly  re- 
gretted by  every  one  in  Louisiana,  and  Aubry  succeeded 

152         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

him  as  commandant  or  governor.  His  name  is  connected 
not  creditably  with  the  saddest  and  most  glorious  event 
in  the  colonial  history  of  Louisiana.  When  the  colonists 
heard,  in  October,  1764,  of  the  cession  to  Spain,  they 
were  thrown  into  consternation  and  despair.  They  were 
greatly  attached  to  France,  and  some  of  them  had  left 
the  part  of  the  province  ceded  to  England,  in  order  to 
remain  Frenchmen.  A  meeting  was  held  in  New  Or- 
leans of  delegates  from  every  parish,  and  Lafreniere,  the 
attorney-general,  made  a  speech  in  which  he  suggested 
that  a  petition  be  sent  to  the  King,  begging  him  not  to 
give  away  his  subjects  to  another  monarch.  The  colonists 
were  not  aware  of  the  infamy  of  the  King,  and  they 
hoped  that  he  would  be  touched  by  their  expressions  of 
devotion  and  love.  Jean  Milhet,  the  richest  merchant 
in  New  Orleans,  was  sent  to  France  as  the  representative 
of  the  Louisianians.  As  soon  as  he  arrived  in  Paris  he 
went  to  see  Bienville,  the  father  of  Louisiana,  who  was 
then  eighty-six  years  old.  This  venerable  and  distin- 
guished man  called  with  Milhet  on  Choiseul,  who  re- 
ceived them  very  kindly,  but  did  not  allow  them  to  see 
the  King.  Milhet  failed  in  his  efforts,  and  Bienville  had 
the  sorrow  of  seeing  his  beloved  Louisiana  become  a 
Spanish  province.  He  died  in  Paris  on  March  7,  1768. 
On  February  28,  1765,8  Foucault,  the  commissaire  or- 
donnateur,  wrote  to  the  minister  that  a  few  days  previ- 
ously several  Acadian  families,  to  the  number  of  one  hun- 
dred and  ninety-three  persons,  had  come  over  from  Santo 
Domingo.  They  were  poor,  and  worthy  of  pity,  and  as- 
sistance was  given  to  them  until  they  could  choose  lands 

ires]  THE    ACADIANS  153 

at  the  Opelousas  and  be  in  a  condition  to  help  themselves. 
On  May  4  Foucault  announced  the  arrival  of  eighty  more 
Acadians,  whom  he  intended  to  send  to  the  Attakapas; 
and  on  May  13,  of  forty-eight  Acadian  families,  which 
he  sent  also  to  the  Opelousas  and  the  Attakapas.  On 
November  1G,  1766,  Foucault  announced  the  arrival  from 
Halifax  of  two  hundred  and  sixteen  Acadians.  Gayarre 
says  lands  on  both  sides  of  the  Mississippi,  above  the  Ger- 
man Coast,  were  given  to  them,  and  they  settled  there  as 
far  as  Baton  Rouge  and  Pointe  Coupee. 

On  April  30,  1765,9  Aubry  says  it  cost  15,500  livres 
to  provide  for  the  needs  of  the  Acadian  families,  two 
hundred  persons,  recently  arrived,  and  that  it  will  cost  as 
much  for  the  next  six  months.  Foucault  says,  according 
to  Margry,  that  they  were  established  at  the  Aodoussae, 
sixty  leagues  from  New  Orleans. 

Judge  Martin,  in  his  History  of  Louisiana,  says  the 
Acadians  arrived  in  1755  and  received  lands  along  the 
Mississippi  coast,  which  later  was  called  the  Acadian 
Coast.  Martin,  however,  gives  no  authority  for  his  state- 

Foucault  says  it  was  on  account  of  their  religion  that 
the  Acadians  left  their  country.  The  fact  is,  that  most 
of  those  who  came  to  Louisiana  had  been  ruthlessly  torn 
from  their  northern  homes  by  the  English  in  1755. 

By  the  treaty  of  Utrecht 10  it  had  been  stipulated  that 
the  Acadians  might  withdraw  to  the  French  possessions 
if  they  chose.  There  is  no  doubt  that  the  English  gov- 
ernors did  all  in  their  power  to  prevent  the  emigration 
to  Cape  Breton  or  to  Canada.    As  they  were  not  harsh, 

154         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [u« 

as  a  rule,  to  the  inhabitants,  the  latter  preferred  to  re- 
main in  the  country  of  their  ancestors.  But,  for  a  long 
time,  they  refused  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  the 
English  sovereign ;  and  when  a  part  of  the  men  took  the 
oath,  it  was  with  a  tacit,  if  not  expressed,  understanding 
that  they  should  never  be  compelled  to  bear  arms  against 
the  French.  That  the  priests  in  Acadia,  and  even  the 
Governor  of  Canada,  tried  to  keep  the  inhabitants  faith- 
ful to  the  French  King,  in  spite  of  their  being  English 
subjects,  there  is  no  reasonable  doubt.  We  can  hardly 
blame  this  feeling,  if  we  consider  what  great  rivalry  there 
was  at  the  time  between  the  English  and  the  French  in 
America,  and  also  the  spirit  of  intolerance  then  every- 
where prevalent.  The  priests  must  have  considered  it 
a  duty  on  their  part  to  try  to  harm  the  English  heretics; 
and  although  we  may  not  approve  the  act  of  some  of 
them,  nor  the  duplicity  of  some  of  the  French  agents, 
we  do  not  find  in  their  conduct  any  excuse  for  the  cruelty 
of  the  English. 

Seeing  how  disaffected  the  Acadians  were  with  their 
new  masters,  the  Marquis  Cornwallis,  in  1749,  laid  the 
foundations  of  Halifax  as  a  protection  against  Louis- 
bourg.  Some  of  the  inhabitants  had  escaped  from  the 
colony  at  the  instigation  of  L'Abbe  le  Loutre,  says  Park- 
man,  and  had  gone  to  the  adjoining  French  settlements. 
Their  lot  was  sad,  as  the  French  were  not  able  to  pro- 
vide for  them,  and  the  English  would  receive  them  only 
as  English  subjects.  It  is  not  astonishing  that  they 
should  make  a  kind  of  guerrilla  war  with  their  Indian 
allies  against  the  English,  and  that  they  should  excite 

1705]  THE   ACADIANS  155 

their  countrymen  against  the  conquerors.  It  must  be 
admitted  that  the  English  were  in  great  peril  in  the 
midst  of  men  openly  or  secretly  hostile  to  them;  but  no 
necessity  of  war  can  justify  tho  measures  taken  to  rid 
English  Nova  Scotia  of  her  French  Acadians. 

In  1755  the  Governor  of  Acadia,  Charles  Lawrence, 
resolved  to  expel  the  French  from  the  posts  which  they 
still  held  in  the  colony.  A  force  of  eighteen  hundred 
men,  commanded  by  Colonel  Monckton,  sailed  from  New 
England  and  captured  Fort  Beausejour,  which  the  cow- 
ardly and  vile  commandant,  Vergor,  surrendered  at  the 
first  attack.  On  the  Plains  of  Abraham  he  was  also  to 
be  the  first  to  yield  to  Wolfe,  and  to  cause  the  defeat 
and  death  of  the  brave  Montcalm,  the  fall  of  Quebec,  and 
the  loss  of  Canada. 

After  the  capture  of  Beausejour,  Fort  Gaspereau  sur- 
rendered also,  and  there  was  no  longer  any  obstacle  to 
prevent  Lawrence  from  accomplishing  a  design  which 
he  must  have  been  cherishing  for  some  time.  The  gov- 
ernor determined  to  remove  from  the  province  all  the 
French  Acadians.  He  required  from  the  inhabitants  an 
oath  of  unqualified  allegiance,  and  on  their  refusal  he 
resolved  to  proceed  to  extreme  measures.  Parkman  says 
that  "  the  Acadians,  though  calling  themselves  neu- 
trals, were  an  enemy  encamped  in  the  heart  of  the  prov- 
ince," and  adds:  "  These  are  the  reasons  which  explain 
and  palliate  a  measure  too  harsh  and  indiscriminate  to 
be  wholly  justified." 

It  is  impossible  to  justify  the  measure  in  any  way;  fear 
of  an  enemy  does  not  justify  his  murder,  and  the  ex- 

136  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

pulsion  of  the  Acadians  was  the  cause  of  untold  misery, 
hoth  physical  and  moral,  and  of  the  death  of  a  number 
of  men,  women,  and  children.  If  the  harsh  removal  of 
the  Acadians  is  justifiable,  so  is  Bonaparte's  massacre 
of  the  prisoners  of  Jaffa.  He  could  not  provide  for 
them  as  prisoners,  and  if  he  released  them  they  would 
immediately  attack  him  again. 

Governor  Lawrence  was  the  more  inexcusable  because 
the  only  Acadians  that  gave  him  any  cause  of  anxiety 
were  those  of  Beausejour,  and  they  had  been  defeated. 
The  inhabitants  of  the  Basin  of  Minas  and  of  Annapolis 
were  peaceful,  prosperous,  and  contented,  and  although 
they  might  have  sided  with  the  French  in  an  invasion 
of  the  province,  they  never  would  have  thought  of  re- 
volting against  the  English.  They  were  an  ignorant 
and  simple  people,  but  laborious,  chaste,  and  religious. 
Their  chief  defect  seems  to  have  been  an  inordinate  love 
for  litigation,  a  trait  which  they  inherited  from  their 
Norman  ancestors.  Lawrence  took  away  the  guns  of 
many  of  the  inhabitants  by  an  unworthy  stratagem,  and 
then  he  ordered  the  ruthless  work  to  be  done.  Monck- 
ton  seized  the  men  of  Beausejour,  and  Winslow,  Hand- 
field,  and  Murray  did  the  same  at  Grand-Pre,  at  An- 
napolis, and  at  Fort  Edward. 

Winslow  issued  a  proclamation  calling  upon  all  the 
men  to  meet  him  at  the  village  church  on  Sunday.  There 
he  was  at  the  appointed  hour  with  his  two  hundred  and 
ninety  men  fully  armed,  to  meet  the  intended  victims. 
Four  hundred  and  eighteen  men  answered  the  call  and 
assembled  in  the  church.    What  was  their  consternation 

1765]  THE   ACADIANS  157 

on  hearing  that  they  Avere  prisoners,  that  all  their  prop- 
erty was  confiscated,  and  that  they  were  to  he  torn  from 
their  homes  with  their  families.  No  resistance  was  pos- 
sihle,  as  the  men  were  unarmed.  They  were  put  for  safe 
keeping  on  hoard  four  ships,  and  on  October  8  the 
men,  women,  and  children  were  embarked.  This  was 
"  le  grand  derangement  "  of  which  their  descendants,  says 
Li'Abbe  Casgrain,  speak  to  this  day.  Winslow  completed 
his  work  in  December  and  shipped  twenty-five  hundred 
and  ten  persons.  Murray,  Monckton,  and  Handheld  were 
equally  successful,  and  more  than  six  thousand  persons 
were  violently  expelled  from  the  colony.  A  few  managed 
to  escape,  although  they  were  tracked  like  wild  beasts.  In 
order  to  compel  them  to  surrender,  the  dwellings  and  even 
the  churches  were  burned  and  the  crops  were  destroyed. 
The  fugitives  suffered  frightfully,  and  many  women  and 
children  died  in  misery.  In  this  scene  of  persecution  we 
are  glad  to  see  the  brave  officer  Boishebert  defeat  a  party 
of  English  who  were  burning  a  church  at  Peticodiac. 
Unhappily,  no  resistance  could  be  made,  and  the  unfor- 
tunates were  huddled  together  like  sheep  on  board  the 
transports,  to  be  scattered  along  the  Atlantic  coast  among 
a  hostile  people  speaking  a  language  unknown  to  them, 
and  having  a  creed  different  from  their  own. 

The  families  were  not  always  on  the  same  ship;  the 
father  and  mother,  in  some  instances,  were  separated 
from  their  children;  and  many  Evangelines  never  met 
their  Gabriels.  The  lot  of  the  exiles  in  the  English  col- 
onies was  generally  hard.  Very  few  remained  where  they 
had  been  transported.     Many  returned  to  their  country 

158  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [in* 

after  incredible  sufferings,  to  be  again  expelled  in  1762; 
some  went  to  France,  where  they  formed  a  settlement  at 
Belle-Isle;  some  went  to  the  Antilles;  and  some  at  last 
found  a  true  home  in  hospitable  Louisiana.  At  the  peace 
of  1763  some  of  the  Acadians  returned  to  Nova  Scotia; 
and  their  descendants,  together  with  those  of  the  inhabi- 
tants who  had  escaped  from  the  persecution,  number  now, 
according  to  LAbbe  Casgrain,  more  than  130,000  souls. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  the  names  of  the  officers  in 
Louisiana  at  the  end  of  the  French  domination.  The 
following  is  a  list  of  those  to  whom  commissions  had  been 
given:  n  De  Macarty,  lieutenant  de  roi  at  New  Orleans; 
De  la  Houssaye,  major  at  New  Orleans;  Du  Barry,  ma- 
jor at  New  Orleans;  Renaud  de  Coudreau,  lieutenant 
of  the  company  of  canonniers  bombardiers  in  Louisiana. 
Captains:  Aubert,  Trudeau,  De  Lusser,  De  Portneuf, 
Chevalier  Dufossat,  De  l'Hommer,  Fleuriau,  Voisin. 
Lieutenants:  Roullin,  Peschon,  Le  Blanc,  Chevalier  de 
Lusser,  De  Livaudais  aine,  Charles  Dessalles,  Dorio- 
court,  Chevalier  de  Rouville,  Adam,  De  St.  Denis  aine, 
De  Belle-Isle,  Laforest  de  Laumont,  Chevalier  de  la 
Ronde,  Dussuau,  Boisseau,  Ricard,  Chevalier  de  Villiers. 
Ensigns:  Lantagnac,  Girardeau  cadet,  De  Bachemin, 
Lalande  Dalcourt,  Baudin,  Vedrine,  De  Vin,  Pellerin, 
D'Arensbourg  aine,  Duverger  aine,  De  la  Vau,  De  La- 
touche,  Duverger  Toubadon,  Chevalier  de  Glapion,  Mon- 
gin,  DArensbourg  cadet,  De  Velle,  Enould  de  Livau- 
dais, Kernion,  Dutisne.  Captain  of  the  gates  of  the  city 
of  New  Orleans,  Charles  Joseph  Le  Blanc. 

The  cross  of  St.  Louis  was  sent  in  1759  to  Captain  de 

1766]  ULLOA  159 

Pontalba,  in  1764  to  Captain  de  Favrot  and  to  Comman- 
dant Nyon  de  Villiers,  in  1765  to  Marest  de  la  Tour,  De 
Bonille,  D'Arensbourg,  and  De  Lavergne. 

Milhet  announced  to  the  Louisianians  the  failure  of 
his  mission;  hut  the  colonists  had  begun  to  hope  that 
Spain  would  not  take  possession  of  Louisiana.  On  July 
10,  1765,  however,  Don  Antonio  de  Ulloa  wrote  from 
Havana  to  Aubry  that  he  had  been  appointed  governor 
of  Louisiana  by  the  King  of  Spain.  He  arrived  in  New 
Orleans  on  March  5,  1766.  The  Spanish  King  had  not 
appeared  very  anxious  to  take  possession  of  his  new  do- 
minions. More  than  three  years  had  elapsed  from  the 
date  of  the  secret  treaty  of  Fontainebleau,  by  which 
France  had  ceded  Louisiana  to  Spain,  before  a  Spanish 
official  appeared  in  the  colony,  and  when  that  official  did 
arrive  he  came  nearly  alone  and  did  not  publicly  assume 
authority.  Aubry,  nevertheless,  recognized  him  as  the 
representative  of  the  King  of  Spain,  and  issued  orders 
in  the  King's  name.  Ulloa  had  with  him  only  two  com- 
panies of  infantry,  commanded  by  Piernas  and  composed 
of  ninety  men.  The  French  soldiers  refused  to  enter  the 
service  of  Spain,  declaring  that  the  term  of  their  enlist- 
ment had  expired.  The  Spanish  governor,  therefore,  de- 
layed taking  possession  officially  until  he  should  have 
more  troops  to  sustain  his  authority.  Three  Spanish  offi- 
cers had  accompanied  him — Loyola,  commissary  of  war; 
Navarro,  intendant;  and  Gayarre,  contador  or  president 
of  the  court  of  accounts. 

The  condition  of  affairs  in  the  colony  was  very  unfor- 
tunate ;  for  LTlloa's  orders,  issued  through  Aubry,  did  not 

160  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         litcg 

appear  binding  on  the  inhabitants,  and  merely  irritated 
them.  Such  was  the  case  especially  with  an  ordinance 
dated  September  6,  1766,  by  which  "  it  is  ordered  that 
all  captains  coming  from  Santo  Domingo,  as  well  as 
those  who  come  from  France,  provided  with  a  passport 
of  his  Excellency  the  Secretary  of  State  of  his  Catholic 
Majesty  (for  otherwise  they  will  not  be  received),  pre- 
sent themselves  to  M.  de  Ulloa  with  their  passports,  im- 
mediately after  their  arrival,  and  with  the  invoice  of  their 
cargoes.  It  is  forbidden  to  unload  anything  until  they 
have  permisison  from  him  written  at  the  bottom  of  their 
passports  or  of  their  invoices.  And  it  is  ordered  that  the 
brokers  present  themselves  equally  before  M.  de  Ulloa, 
giving  the  price  at  which  they  are  willing  to  sell  their 
merchandise,  to  have  it  examined  by  just  and  intelligent 
persons  of  this  colony,  and,  if  the  prices  are  excessive, 
they  will  not  be  allowed  to  sell  their  merchandise,  and 
they  will  be  obliged  to  go  elsewhere  to  sell  it.  The  mer- 
chants will  be  obliged  to  receive  the  current  money  of  the 
country  in  payment  of  their  merchandise.  They  will 
form  at  least  one  third  of  their  cargo  of  lumber  and  other 
products  of  the  colony." 

On  September  8  the  merchants  of  New  Orleans  sent 
a  petition  to  the  Superior  Council,  asking  to  be  heard 
before  the  ordinance  was  put  into  effect,  that  they  might 
have  time  to  prove  "  that  the  extension  and  freedom  of 
commerce,  far  from  doing  harm  to  states  and  colonies, 
are,  on  the  contrary,  their  strength  and  their  support." 

The  petition  was  signed  as  follows:  "Joseph  MiDiet, 
Rose,  Cantrelle,  D.  Braud,  J.  Merrier,  L.  Ducrest,  Petit, 

nee]  NAMES   OF   MERCHANTS  161 

Duforest,  Toutant  Beauregard,  L.  Boisdore,  B.  Du- 
plessy,  Braquier,  P.  Caresse,  J.  Vienne,  P.  Segond,  Voix, 
Durel,  Blache,  M.  Poupet,  P.  Poupet,  Estebe,  Rodrigue, 
J.  Sauvestre,  G.  Gardelle,  Ducarpe,  F.  Durand,  J.  and 
N.  Boudet,  Rivoire,  Macuenara,  F.  Denis,  J.  Arnoult, 
A.  Reynard,  P.  Senilh,  A.  Bodaille,  Laulhe,  Dubourg, 
Durand  cadet,  Festas,  Frigiere,  L.  Ranson,  Fournier 
and  St.  Pe,  Detour  and  Villefranche,  Salomon,  Delas- 
size,  Blaignat,  Langlois,  Fortier,  J.  Lafitte  cadet,  He- 
nard,  L.  Estardy,  Astier  and  Brunet,  J.  Bienvenu, 
Sarpy,  Doraison,  Cavelier  freres,  Papion,  Gaurrege, 
Revoil,  Guezille,  Guignan,  St.  Anne,  Moullineau,  P. 
Hery,  A.  Ollivier,  and  Broussard."  A  little  later  the 
following  names  were  added:  "Dumas  and  Grieumard, 
Chateau,  P.  Simon,  E.  Hugues,  J.  Sarrou,  B.  Gaillardi, 
Raguet,  J.  Nicolet,  Brion,  Betremieux  l'aine,  Blandin 
Dutertre,  Bijon,  L.  d'Haubeck,  M.  Duralde,  Bonnemai- 
son,  Joli,  Forstall,  B.  l'Enfant." 

Ulloa  was  a  man  of  merit,  a  distinguished  savant,  but 
lacking  in  tact  as  commander  of  a  people  opposed  to  a 
change  of  rulers,  who  should  have  been  treated  with  the 
utmost  gentleness.  The  governor  acted  with  haughti- 
ness in  his  dealings  with  the  inhabitants,  and  certainly 
governed  in  a  strange  manner.  He  remained  at  the  Ba- 
lize  for  seven  months  to  await  his  Peruvian  bride,  the 
Marchioness  dAbrado,  not  once  in  the  mean  time  going 
to  New  Orleans.  Aubry  went  to  see  Ulloa  at  the  Balize, 
and  while  he  was  there  he  and  Ulloa  signed  a  paper  by 
which  the  colony  was  transferred  to  Spain.  No  public 
act  of  possession  took  place,  except  that  Aubry  author- 

]62  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         ims 

ized  Ulloa  to  raise  the  Spanish  flag  at  the  Balize.  Ulloa 
established  also  posts  in  the  Missouri  country,  at  Iber- 
ville River,  and  opposite  Natchez;  and  he  caused  the 
Spanish  flag  to  be  hoisted  there.  In  New  Orleans,  how- 
ever, the  capital  of  the  province,  the  French  banner  was 
still  floating  in  the  Place  d'Armes,  and  no  transfer  of 
the  colony  from  France  to  Spain  had  taken  place.  The 
colonists  were  justified  in  not  acknowledging  Ulloa's 
rule  and  in  asking  for  his  withdrawal  from  Louisiana. 

On  January  17  and  18,  1768,  the  cold  was  intense,  and 
the  orange  trees  perished,  as  in  1748.  The  river  before 
New  Orleans  was  frozen  on  both  sides  from  thirty  to  forty 
feet.  On  January  20,  1768,  Aubry  wrote  an  interesting 
letter,  of  which  the  following  are  curious  extracts:12  "  My 
position  is  most  extraordinary.  I  command  for  the  King 
of  France  and  at  the  same  time  I  govern  the  colony  as 
if  it  belonged  to  the  King  of  Spain.  I  have  almost  suc- 
ceeded in  being  able  to  make  French  vivacity  agree  with 
Spanish  gravity,  by  the  trouble  which  I  have  given  my- 
self. There  has  happened,  thanks  to  God!  no  accident— 
not  a  Spaniard  killed,  not  even  a  quarrel  at  all  serious." 

Aubry  was  a  poor  prophet,  for  only  a  few  months 
later  a  revolution  against  the  Spanish  domination  broke 
cut  in  Louisiana.  Jean  Milhet  had  returned  from 
France  at  the  end  of  1767,  and  the  narrative  of  the  fail- 
ure of  his  undertaking  had  caused  great  excitement  in 
the  colony.  Meetings  were  held  in  New  Orleans  and 
elsewhere, and  at  the  German  Coast,  says  Martin, "perfect 
unanimity  prevailed."  A  Capuchin  missionary  there, 
Father  Barnabe,  exerted  his  influence  on  his  parishioners, 

1768]        PETITION  TO  THE  COUNCIL         1G3 

and  took  an  active  part  in  the  opposition  against  Spain. 
Finally  a  meeting  was  held  in  New  Orleans,  which  was 
attended  hy  delegates  from  all  parts  of  the  province. 
Lafreniere  was  the  chief  speaker,  and  addresses  were 
also  made  by  Jean  Milhet  and  his  brother  Joseph,  and 
by  Doucet,  a  lawyer.  A  petition  to  the  Superior  Coun- 
cil, enumerating  the  grievances  against  Ulloa,  was  pre- 
pared, and  was  signed  by  five  hundred  and  sixty  of  the 
most  influential  inhabitants  in  the  colony.  Foucault,  the 
commissaire  ordonnutcur,  authorized  the  printing  of  the 
petition,  which  was  presented  to  the  Council  on  October 
28,  1768.  It  mentioned  several  acts  of  severity  of  Ulloa, 
a  stranger  who  had  not  observed  any  of  the  formalities 
prescribed  by  the  act  of  cession.    This  was  the  petition: 13 

How  shall  we  describe  the  inhumanity  with  which  the  Acadians 
have  been  treated?  Those  people,  so  long  tossed  about  by  events, 
determined,  through  a  patriotic  spirit,  to  abandon  all  that  they 
might  possess  on  the  English  lands,  to  come  to  live  under  the 
happy  laws  of  their  former  master.  They  arrived,  at  great  ex- 
pense, in  this  colony.  Hardly  have  they  succeeded  in  clearing  the 
ground  needed  for  a  poor  hut  when,  on  account  of  some  repre- 
sentations which  they  wished  to  make  to  M.  de  Ulloa,  he  threat- 
ened to  drive  them  from  the  colony  and  to  have  them  sold  as  slaves, 
to  pay  for  the  rations  which  the  King  had  given  them,  by  order- 
ing the  Germans  to  refuse  to  give  them  a  refuge.  We  leave  it 
to  be  decided  whether  this  conduct  is  not  barbarous.  But  we  be- 
lieve that  we  can  say,  without  exaggerating,  that  it  is  diamet- 
rically opposite  to  that  political  prudence  which  wishes  that  all 
the  branches  of  the  population  be  favored. 

Those  who  complain  (and  what  man  borne  down  under  the 
joke  can  suffer  such  inhumanities  without  murmuring?) — yes,  we 

164  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

dare  say  so — those  who  complain  are  threatened  with  being  im- 
prisoned, exiled  to  the  Balize,  or  sent  to  the  mines. 

If  M.  de  Ulloa  has  been  clothed  with  some  authority,  his  prince 
has  never  ordered  him  to  render  it  tyrannical,  or  to  exercise  it 
before  having  made  known  his  titles  and  powers.  Such  vexations 
do  not  come  from  the  hearts  of  Kings.  They  agree  little  with 
the  humanity  which  controls  their  character  and  their  acts. 

We  should  never  end  if  we  undertook  to  mention  in  detail  all 
the  humiliations  which  the  French  of  New  Orleans  have  suffered. 
It  is  to  be  desired,  for  the  honor  of  the  nation,  that  what 
has  transpired  may  be  counteracted  by  the  protection  of  the 
Superior  Council,  which  we  claim  to-day.  For,  as  a  climax  to 
so  many  tribulations,  we  predict  that,  after  some  time,  the  colo- 
nists of  Louisiana  will  be  reduced  to  the  simple  food  of  the  Tor- 
tilla, while  the  most  sober  food  will  never  cause  them  trouble. 

However,  the  preservation  of  their  life,  their  obligations  to 
their  creditors,  their  honor  emanating  from  patriotism  and  from 
their  duty,  and  finally  their  fortunes  attacked  by  said  decree, 
induce  them  to  offer  their  property  and  their  blood  to  preserve 
forever  the  sweet  and  inviolable  title  of  French  citizen. 

All  this  leads  them  naturally  to  conclusions,  which  the  zeal  of 
the  Superior  Court  for  the  public  good,  its  firmness  for  the  main- 
tenance of  the  laws  of  which  His  Most  Christian  Majesty  has 
made  them  depositary,  assure  them  that  it  will  receive  most  fa- 

The  petitioners  pay  here  the  highest  compliments  to 
Aubry,  who  was  soon  to  show  that  he  did  not  deserve 
them,  and  they  conclude  by  supplicating  the  court: 

1st.  To  be  assured  that  the  privileges  and  exemptions,  which 
the  colony  has  enjoyed  since  the  retrocession  that  the  Company 
of  the  Indies  has  made  to  His  Most  Christian  Majesty,  will  be 
maintained,  without  any  innovation  that  shall  arrest  them  and 
disturb  the  security  of  the  citizens. 

1768]        PETITION   TO  THE   COUNCIL         165 

2d.  That  passports,  furloughs,  and  permissions  emanating 
from  the  governor  and  the  commissary  of  His  Most  Christian 
Majesty  be  granted  to  captains  of  ships  that  sail  from  this  col- 
ony for  any  port  of  France  and  of  America. 

3d.  That  any  vessel  from  any  port  of  France  or  America  have 
free  entrance  of  the  river,  whether  it  come  directly  for  this  col- 
ony, or  call  here,  as  has  always  been  done. 

4th.  That  freedom  of  commerce  with  all  the  nations  of  the 
continent  which  are  under  the  domination  of  His  Most  Christian 
Majesty  be  granted  to  all  citizens,  in  accordance  with  the  orders 
of  the  King  to  the  late  M.  d'Abbadie,  registered  at  the  record- 
office  of  this  town,  and  in  accordance  also  with  the  letter  of  Mon- 
seigneur  the  Duke  de  Choiseul  to  the  same  M.  d'Abbadie,  dated 
February  9,  1765. 

5th.  That  M.  de  Ulloa  be  declared  infractor  and  usurper,  on 
several  points,  of  the  authority  devolving  on  the  Government  and 
the  Council;  since  all  the  laws,  ordinances,  and  customs  require 
that  this  authority  be  exercised  by  an  officer  only  after  he  shall 
have  observed  all  the  formalities  prescribed,  and  this  M.  de  Ulloa 
has  not  done.  He  should  then  be  declared  infractor  and  usurper 
for  the  following  reasons : 

For  having  had  the  Spanish  flag  raised  in  several  places  in 
the  colony  without  having  previously  shown  and  caused  to  be 
registered  with  the  Council  the  titles  and  credentials  with  which 
he  may  have  been  provided,  and  without  the  citizens  assembled 
having  been  informed  of  them. 

For  having,  by  his  own  private  authority,  required  that  cap- 
tains of  vessels  be  detained,  and  their  vessels  kept  in  port,  without 
any  cause ;  and  for  having  kept  under  arrest  French  citizens  on 
board  a  Spanish  frigate. 

The  undersigned  demand  that,  in  virtue  of  all  these  grievances, 
and  of  many  others  of  public  notoriety,  and  also  for  the  tran- 
quillity of  citizens  who  claim  the  protection  of  the  Council,  they 
be  freed  henceforth  from  the  fear  of  a  tyrannical  authority  and 
of  the  conditions  of  said  decree,  by  the  removal  of  M.  de  Ulloa, 

106  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         ines 

who  should  bo  ordered  to  embark  in  the  first  vessel  that  shall  de- 
part, to  go  wherever  lie  may  please,  out  of  the  dependency  of  this 

Finally,  that  all  the  Spanish  officers  who  arc  in  this  city,  or 
scattered  in  the  posts  of  the  colony,  be  ordered  to  depart  and 
go  likewise  where  they  please,  out  of  the  dependency  of  the  prov- 
ince; and  that  it  please  the  Court  to  order  that  the  decree  to  be 
issued  be  read,  published,  and  posted  in  all  the  usual  places  of 
this  town,  and  that  collated  copies  be  sent  to  all  the  ports  of  the 

This  petition  was  read  to  the  Council,  and,  at  the  re- 
quest of  the  attorney-general,  Lafreniere,  was  referred 
to  Huchet  de  Kernion  and  Piot  de  Launay,  titular  coun- 
cilors, to  be  examined  and  reported  upon. 

Lafreniere,  in  his  capacity  of  attorney-general,  ad- 
dressed the  Council  in  favor  of  the  petition,  and  spoke 
with  great  courage  and  eloquence.  The  following  words 
of  his  deserve  to  be  quoted : 

Liberty  and  competition  are  the  foster  mothers  of  the  two  es- 
tates [commerce  and  agriculture].  Exclusion  is  their  tyrant  and 
stepmother.  Without  liberty,  there  are  no  more  virtues.  From 
despotism  come  pusillanimity  and  the  abyss  of  vices.  Man  is  recog- 
nized as  sinning  against  God,  only  because  he  preserves  free  will. 
Where  is  the  liberty  of  the  planters  and  of  the  merchants?  The 
marks  of  protection  and  kindness  are  changed  into  despotism;  a 
single  authority  wishes  to  destroy  everything.  The  estates  must 
no  longer  run  the  risk  of  being  taxed  with  crime,  of  trembling, 
of  being  enslaved,  and  of  crawling.  The  Superior  Council,  bul- 
wark of  the  tranquillity  of  the  virtuous  citizens,  has  been  main- 
tained onky  by  the  probity  and  disinterestedness  of  the  magis- 
trates and  the  united  confidence  of  the  citizens  in  them.14 

H68]  LAF11EXIERE  167 

The  attorney-general  concluded  his  address  hy  asking 
that  M.  de  Ulloa  be  declared  infractor  of  the  laws,  forms, 
and  usages,  and  usurper  of  an  illegal  authority;  that 
he  be  ordered  to  leave  the  colony  without  delay,  in  the 
frigate  in  which  he  came;  that  Messrs.  Aubry  and  Fou- 
cault  be  requested,  and  even  commanded,  in  the  name 
of  the  King,  to  continue  to  govern  the  colony;  that  no 
vessel  be  allowed  to  sail  from  the  colony  unless  with 
passports  from  M.  Foucault  acting  as  commissaire  or- 
donnateur;  that  taking  possession  of  the  colony  be  not 
proposed  or  attempted  by  any  means,  without  new  or- 
ders from  His  Catholic  Majesty;  that  Messrs.  Loyola, 
Gayarre,  and  Xavarro  be  declared  responsible  for  the 
bonds  issued  by  them,  unless  they  show  their  authority 
from  His  Catholic  Majesty;  that  the  planters  and  mer- 
chants be  authorized  to  choose  deputies  to  carry  their 
petition  to  the  King  of  France ;  that  the  Superior  Coun- 
cil address  representations  to  the  King;  that  the  decree 
to  be  rendered  be  read,  published,  posted,  and  registered ; 
that  collated  copies  of  the  decree  be  sent  to  the  Duke  de 
Praslin  with  a  letter  from  the  Superior  Council,  and 
copies  sent  also  to  all  the  posts  in  the  colony,  to  be  pub- 
lished, posted,  and  registered. 

At  a  meeting  of  the  Superior  Council,  held  on  October 
29,  1768,  the  report  of  the  titular  councilors  and  special 
commissioners,  Huchet  de  Kernion  and  Piot  de  Launay, 
was  read,  and  it  was  decided  to  adopt  the  conclusions  of 
the  attorney-general.  A  decree  to  that  effect  was  there- 
fore rendered. 

Foucault  expressed  his  opinion  that  none  of  the  Span- 

168  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [im 

ish  officers  could  be  sent  away  from  the  colony  by  an 
order  of  the  Court ;  that  Ulloa,  not  having  formally  taken 
possession,  should  not  perform  any  of  the  duties  of  gov- 
ernor with  regard  to  the  French;  that  navigation  should 
take  place  as  before  Ulloa's  arrival;  that  all  the  Spanish 
officers  of  administration  should  continue  to  fulfil  their 
functions,  with  regard  to  supplying  the  capital  and  posts 
with  provisions,  to  paying  the  French  troops,  and  at- 
tending to  necessary  works.15 

Foucault's  opinion  was  not  very  logical;  but  in  times 
of  revolution  we  must  not  expect  dispassionate  logic 
from  men  who  rise  against  oppression.  His  part  in 
the  events  of  October,  1768,  and  later,  was  not  credi- 
table. The  inhabitants  of  Louisiana,  in  their  petition 
to  the  Council,  and  in  their  memorial  afterward  ad- 
dressed to  the  King,  were  sometimes,  like  Foucault,  lack- 
ing in  logic.  They  were  right,  however,  in  the  main 
points  of  their  complaints. 

On  the  very  day  of  the  adoption  of  the  decree  against 
Ulloa,  October  29,16  Aubry  protested,  and  said  he  would 
oppose  Ulloa's  departure,  if  he  did  not  fear  to  expose 
the  latter's  life  and  that  of  all  the  Spaniards  who  were 
in  Louisiana.  On  October  31  the  Council  declared  Au- 
bry's  protest  null  and  void,  and  ordered  the  enforcement 
of  the  decree. 

Ulloa  had  been  given  three  days  to  leave  the  colony, 
and  on  October  31  he  embarked  with  his  family  on  board 
a  French  ship  that  he  had  chartered.  On  November  1 
a  band  of  colonists  who  were  returning  from  a  wedding, 
at  daybreak,  appeared  on  the  levee,  singing  patriotic  airs 

1768]  EXPULSION    OF    ULLOA  169 

and  uttering  cries  of  triumph.  One  of  them,  named  Pe- 
tit, cut  the  cables  of  the  vessel  on  which  was  the  Spanish 
governor,  and  the  ship  drifted  down  with  the  current. 
The  foreigner  was  thus  expelled,  and  a  revolution  had 
taken  place. 

A  letter  written  on  October  30  by  Aubry  to  the  min- 
ister, related  the  events  of  the  preceding  day,  and  said 
that  four  delegates  were  to  leave  for  France.  Lapey- 
riere  was  sent  by  him  to  relate  the  details  of  "  this  revo- 
lution"; Lesassier,  by  the  Superior  Council;  De  Bien- 
ville, naval  officer,  by  the  planters;  Milhet,  captain  of 
militia,  by  the  merchants.  Bienville  was  a  Creole  of 
Louisiana,  a  brother  of  Noyan.  He  refused  to  act  as 
delegate  of  the  planters,  on  account  of  his  being  an  offi- 
cer of  the  navy,  but  he  departed  from  the  province  with 
the  other  delegates.  He  had  been  one  of  the  chiefs  of  the 
revolution,  and  would  probably  have  shared  the  fate  of  his 
brother  Noyan  had  he  remained  in  Louisiana.  Milhet, 
mentioned  by  Aubry  as  the  delegate  of  the  merchants, 
did  not  leave  the  colony,  and  St.  Lette  went  to  France 
to  represent  the  planters  and  the  merchants.  The  dele- 
gates from  Louisiana  carried  to  the  Duke  de  Praslin, 
who  was  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs,  all  the  papers  re- 
lating to  the  revolution,  including  the  famous  memorial 
of  the  planters  and  merchants. 

Letters  were  written  to  Praslin  by  the  syndics  of  the 
planters  and  merchants,  Marquis,  Masan,  Braquier,  and 
Carresse,  and  by  the  Superior  Council.  The  latter  body 
sent  also  a  long  address  to  the  King,17  relating  the  events 
that  had  taken  place  in  the  province,  and  justifying  their 

170  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nes 

action  with  regard  to  Ulloa.  They  said  that  when  they 
received  the  letter  of  the  King  concerning  the  cession, 
they  proved  their  submission  by  registering  it  immedi- 
ately, in  spite  of  the  sad  situation  of  the  people,  who  were 
always  attached  to  the  King. 

The  tranquillity  and  happiness  of  the  inhabitants  had 
been  guaranteed  by  the  King,  who  promised  that  the 
laws  and  customs  of  the  colony  should  be  observed.  Two 
years  elapsed  between  the  receipt  of  the  King's  letter 
and  the  arrival  of  Ulloa,  and  in  the  mean  time  the  inhabi- 
tants still  considered  themselves  French  subjects,  and 
the  colony  prospered.  Ulloa  arrived  at  the  Balize  on 
February  22,  1766.  A  tragic  event  deprived  him  of 
eleven  of  his  sailors;  and  rain,  thunder,  and  wind  intro- 
duced him  to  New  Orleans  on  March  5  at  noon.  He 
was  received  with  respect. 

Ulloa  visited  the  posts  as  far  as  Natchitoches,  and 
promised  ten  years'  freedom  of  commerce.  On  his  re- 
turn he  did  not  present  any  of  his  titles  and  powers,  and 
on  September  6,  1766,  he  issued  an  illegal  comm'ercial 
ordinance.  All  the  merchants  united  to  ask  the  Council 
to  declare  its  illegality.  It  was  not  annulled  by  decree, 
but  it  was  promised  that  it  would  not  be  enforced  as 
long  as  legal  possession  of  the  province  had  not  been 
taken.  Ulloa  asked  that  the  petition  of  the  merchants 
be  communicated  to  him,  that  he  might  choose  among 
the  signers  those  whom  he  wished  to  sacrifice  to  his  wrath. 
Foucault  refused  to  accede  to  his  demand,  and  said  that 
the  petition  would  be  sent  to  the  Duke  de  Choiseul. 
Ulloa  called  himself  king  of  the  colony,  and  spoke  in 

■  . 

1768]         ADDRESS   OF  THE   COUNCIL  171 

the  most  insulting  manner  of  the  Superior  Council,  of 
Foucaultj  and  of  all  Frenchmen.  This  spread  alarm 
and  consternation  in  the  province. 

Ulloa  dared,  without  legal  authority,  to  create  a  new 
Council,  and  committed  numerous  acts  of  despotism. 
He  violated  the  Black  Code  by  permitting  a  Spaniard 
to  marry  a  negress,  his  servant,  in  his  own  house.  He 
granted  protection  to  negroes,  without  hearing  their  mas- 
ters. '  Your  subjects  were  threatened  with  slavery,  and 
their  negroes  acquired  the  degrees  of  free  men." 

The  colony  lost  its  prosperity,  and  all  hearts  were 
given  up  to  despair.  Ulloa  was  declared  the  implacable 
enemy  of  all  Frenchmen,  and  all  the  people — planters, 
merchants,  artisans,  and  workmen — united  in  addressing 
a  petition  to  the  Superior  Council.  The  Council  met  on 
October  28,  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning,  and  ordered 
that  two  titular  councilors  be  named  to  examine  the 
petition  and  report  the  next  day;  while  six  notable  in- 
habitants were  named  councilors  assessors.  The  Coun- 
cil, composed  of  thirteen  members,  met  at  nine  o'clock  in 
the  morning  on  October  29,  and  before  a  vote  was  taken 
Aubry  was  asked  whether  Ulloa  had  communicated  to 
him  his  titles  and  powers.  He  answered  that  "  no  deci- 
sive title  had  been  communicated  to  him  about  the  mis- 
sion of  M.  de  Ulloa."  The  opinion  or  vote  of  each  mem- 
ber was  given  in  writing,  and  the  decree  was  announced 
at  a  quarter  to  twelve.  At  a  quarter  past  two  it  was  an- 
nounced to  Ulloa  on  board  the  Spanish  frigate.  Aubry 
protested  against  the  decree;  his  protest  was  declared 
null  and  void,  and  on  November  1  four  deputies  of  the 

172  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [lies 

planters  and  merchants  asked,  at  half-past  two  o'clock, 
that  the  decree  be  executed.  The  Council  met,  and  at 
four  o'clock  it  was  announced  that  Ulloa  had  embarked 
on  board  the  ship  that  he  had  chosen.  He  remained  eleven 
hours  in  the  river,  without  being  molested.  He  was  al- 
lowed a  delay  of  only  three  days  on  account  of  the  great 
excitement  and  general  discontent,  and  because  four 
fifths  of  the  furniture  of  which  he  had  made  use  belonged 
to  the  owner  of  the  house  and  to  different  individuals. 
The  Superior  Council  said  in  a  letter  to  the  King: 

The  French,  accustomed  to  the  gentleness  of  a  government  de- 
sired by  all  strangers,  will  never  be  able  to  subject  themselves  to 
the  exclusiveness  and  despotism  practiced  in  all  the  Spanish  gov- 
ernments. Man  is  born  submissive  to  laws.  He  knows  them  as 
he  advances  in  age,  and  remains  attached  to  them  in  maturity. 
The  recasting  of  the  character,  of  the  heart  and  of  honest  cus- 
toms can  never  be  done  freely  by  men  who  have  fulfilled  half  of 
their  career ;  force  alone  can  subdue  them.  What  life !  what  com- 
bat for  citizens,  Sire,  born  subjects  of  the  King  Louis  the  Well 
Beloved!  Deign  yet,  Sire,  to  favor  the  general  wish  of  the 
colony,  and  the  very  humble  representations  of  your  Superior 

The  titular  councilors,' s  named  as  already  stated, 
were  Huchet  de  Kernion  and  De  Launay,  on  account  of 
the  sickness  of  De  Lalande  and  De  la  Chaise ;  the  coun- 
cilors assessors  were  Lesassier,  Fleuriau,  Hardy  de  Bois- 
blanc,  De  la  Sestiere  Pascalis  de  Labarre,  Bobe  Des- 
closeaux,  Ducros,  and  Thomassin. 

On  November  7,  1768,  the  Superior  Council  ordered 
an  investigation  to  be  held  concerning  the  "  vexations  " 
committed  by  Ulloa,  notwithstanding  their  notoriety. 
Huchet  de  Kernion  and  Louis  Piot  de  Launay  were 

1768]         CHARGES    AGAINST   ULLOA  173 

named  to  conduct  the  investigation.  Several  witnesses 
were  heard,  among  whom  were  Father  Dagobert  and 
Dr.  Lebeau,  and  their  testimony  proves  that  the  Span- 
ish governor  committed  many  acts  of  oppression  and  of 
despotism.19  A  curious  charge  against  him  was,  that  he 
would  not  allow  negroes  to  be  chastised  in  the  houses  of 
their  masters,  because  it  inconvenienced  his  Peruvian 
wife.  Captain  Piernas  comes  in  for  his  share  of  blame 
for  the  very  outrageous  treatment  at  Natchez  of  some 
Frenchmen  who  were  going  up  the  river  in  a  boat. 

On  March  20,  1769,  the  inhabitants  of  Louisiana  ad- 
dressed a  very  touching  letter  to  the  Duke  de  Praslin,  in 
which  they  implored  his  assistance  in  preserving  to  them 
the  "  precious  and  inestimable  title  of  French  citizens." 
The  King  and  his  minister,  however,  turned  a  deaf  ear 
to  the  entreaties  of  men  whose  country  had  been  cast 
out  from  the  French  dominions,  and  they  were  left  to 
their  unhappy  fate. 

The  new  Council  that  Ulloa  was  accused  of  having 
formed  was  composed  of  Loyola,  commissary  of  war; 
Gayarre,  contador;  D'Acosta,  commanding  the  Spanish 
frigate  Le  Volant;  De  Reggio,  retired  captain  of  in- 
fantry; Olivier  de  Vezin,  surveyor;  De  la  Chaise,  hon- 
orary councilor  of  the  Superior  Council;  and  Dreux, 
captain  of  militia.20 

Antonio  de  Ulloa,21  whom  the  Louisianians  expelled 
from  the  colony,  was  born  in  Seville  in  1716,  and  died  in 
1795.  He  was  a  distinguished  traveler  and  scientist, 
and  established  in  Spain  the  first  cabinet  of  natural  his- 
tory and  the  first  laboratory  of  metallurgy.  It  was  he, 
also,  who  had  the  first  idea  of  a  canal  for  navigation  and 

174  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

irrigation  in  Old  Castile.  He  perfected  the  art  of  en- 
graving, of  printing,  and  of  the  manufacture  of  cloth, 
and  he  directed  the  designing  of  the  geographical  maps 
of  Spain.  He  wrote  several  works,  among  which  were 
"  Historical  Voyages  in  South  America,"  "  American 
Notes:  Physico-historical  Discourses  on  South  America 
and  on  the  East  of  North  America,"  and  "  Observations 
taken  at  Sea  of  an  Eclipse  of  the  Sun."  His  utter  fail- 
ure as  governor  of  Louisiana  proves  that  he  was  better 
fitted  to  be  a  writer  on  scientific  subjects  than  the  ad- 
ministrator of  a  province  in  a  period  of  transition  from 
one  domination  to  another. 

Lafreniere  was  really  the  chief  of  the  revolution 
against  Spain,  and  the  memory  of  this  able  and  heroic 
man  should  be  honored  in  Louisiana.  Baudry  des  Lo- 
zieres  says  of  him: 22 

M.  de  Lafreniere  was  one  of  the  handsomest  men  whom  nature 
has  been  pleased  to  form.  Tall,  well  made,  with  a  noble  air,  im- 
posing and  brave,  there  was  no  one  to  be  compared  with  him. 
His  eye  had  a  fire  that  penetrated  everything;  he  knew  how  to 
deliver  agreeably  convincing  addresses.  His  appearance  was  so 
remarkable  that,  not  knowing  to  whom  to  compare  him,  he  was 
commonly  called  Louis  XIV,  because  he  had  really  that  majesty 
which  one  attributes  to  sovereigns.  Of  exceeding  kindness,  he 
loved  his  compatriots  with  the  tenderness  of  a  brother,  and  he 
had  all  the  virtues  that  cause  a  husband,  a  father,  a  friend,  a 
citizen,  to  be  cherished.  He  had  been  educated  in  France,  and 
he  had  brought  back  the  charms  and  the  good  taste  that  he 
spread  over  all  that  he  said  and  all  that  he  wrote.  He  was  the 
object  of  the  attentions  of  society,  and  of  astonishment  in  public 
assemblies.  Gentle,  moderate  in  ordinary  situations  of  life,  he 
was  of  electrical  vivacity  on  serious  occasions ;  nothing,  so  to  say, 

1768]         THE   CHIEF   CONSPIRATORS         175 

could  resist  the  torrent  of  liis  eloquence.  He  had,  for  first  and 
sincere  friend,  a  man  worthy  of  public  esteem,  who  by  his 
virtues,  his  mind,  his  talents,  his  wealth,  and  his  credit,  had  ob- 
tained over  him  a  just  influence.  This  was  Jean  Milhet,  of  whom 
we  have  spoken,  and  whom  we  shall  see  pay  dearly  for  this 
precious  friendship. 

'  The  chief  conspirators,"  says  Gayarre,  "  were  some 
of  the  most  influential  men  in  the  colony,  such  as:  La- 
freniere,  the  King's  attorney-general;  Foucault,  the  in- 
tendant  commissary;  Masan,  a  retired  captain  of  in- 
fantry, a  wealthy  planter,  and  a  Knight  of  St.  Louis; 
Marquis,  a  captain  in  the  Swiss  troops  enlisted  in  the 
service  of  France;  Noyan,  a  retired  captain  of  cavalry; 
and  Bienville,  a  lieutenant  in  the  navy  (both  nephews  of 
Bienville,  founder  of  the  colony)  ;  Doucet,  a  distin- 
guished lawyer;  Jean  and  Joseph  Milhet,  Carresse,  Pe- 
tit, and  Poupet,  who  were  among  the  principal  mer- 
chants; Hardy  de  Boisblanc,  a  former  member  of  the 
Superior  Council  and  a  planter  of  note;  Villere,  com- 
mander of  the  German  Coast." 

Braud,  the  King's  printer,  printed  a  long  memorial 
of  the  planters  and  merchants  of  Louisiana  about  the 
event  of  October  29,  1768,  and  it  is  one  of  the  most 
important  and  interesting  documents  in  our  history. 
The  colonists  did  not  prove  their  case  fully  against 
Ulloa;  but  we  see  in  their  memorial  their  bitter  opposi- 
tion to  the  ride  of  Spain,  of  the  foreigner,  and  their  noble 
sentiments  of  manhood.  They  resisted  oppression,  and 
their  spirit  was  highly  patriotic.  They  were  not  impelled 
by  fear  of  losing  their  commerce,  but  primarily  by  love 

176  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nc8 

for  France,  and  then  by  a  worthy  spirit  of  independence. 
We,  their  descendants,  admire  their  feelings  and  are 
proud  of  their  heroism.  The  French  colonists  of  1768 
were  inspired  by  the  same  feelings  that  caused  the  Amer- 
ican colonists  of  1776  to  rise  against  the  tyranny  of 
George  III.  Lafreniere  and  his  friends,  as  later  Wash- 
ington and  his  associates,  took  up  arms  to  resist  oppres- 
sion. From  all  the  parishes  in  Louisiana  brave  and  reso- 
lute men  had  assembled  in  New  Orleans  on  the  eventful 
29th  of  October.23  The  Germans  were  led  by  Villere, 
the  Acadians  by  Noyan,  and  Marquis  was  commander- 
in-chief.  All  these  valiant  men  rejoiced  in  the  over- 
throw of  Ulloa,  in  spite  of  Aubry's  protest.  The  latter 
played  an  unenviable  part  in  these  events.  He  had 
acted  as  the  tool  of  the  Spanish  governor,  instead  of 
declining  to  recognize  the  latter's  authority  until  he 
should  show  his  credentials.  He  acted  with  Ulloa 
against  the  colonists,  and  we  shall  soon  see  him  play 
informer  against  his  own  fellow-citizens.  Foucault  was 
as  despicable  as  Aubry,  and  was  utterly  devoid  of  cour- 
age and  nobility  of  soul. 

On  December  14,  1768,  the  inhabitants  of  Louisiana 
presented  another  petition  to  the  Superior  Council,  ask- 
ing for  the  expulsion  of  the  Spanish  frigate  Le  Volant, 
which  had  remained  in  the  river.  The  petition  was  pre- 
sented by  Marquis,  De  La  Ronde,  and  Le  Breton,  syn- 
dics of  the  planters,  and  by  Carresse  and  Braquier,  syn- 
dics of  the  merchants.  The  frigate  finally  left  the  colony 
on  April  20,  1769.  The  Louisianians  had  been  most  per- 
sistent in  their  opposition  to  everything  foreign. 


Memorial  of  the  Planters  and  Merchants 

of  Louisiana  on  the  Event  of 

October  29,  1768  J 

Necessity  of  the  Revolution — Love  for  the  King  of  France— Promises  of 
Louis  XV  in  the  name  of  the  King  of  Spain— Arrival  of  Ulloa — His  recep- 
tion by  the  people — Important  trades  restricted  by  Ulloa — No  outlet  for 
products  of  Louisiana  in  Spain — Louisiana  to  be  made  a  rampart  to  Mexico 
—  No  advantage  in  being  allowed  to  go  to  foreign  countries  when  there  is 
no  market  for  goods  in  Spain — Ulloa  introduces  the  Spanish  law  in  spite 
of  promise  of  Louis  XV — Interdiction  of  the  passes  of  the  Mississippi — 
Accidents  to  vessels  through  UHoa's  order  of  interdiction — Ulloa  closes 
brickyards — Ulloa  prohibits  the  introduction  of  negroes — Ulloa  treats 
respectful  representations  as  seditious — Ulloa  does  not  show  his  pow- 
ers—Ulloa  treats  New  Orleans  as  a  conquered  city — Ulloa  mal- 
treats the  Germans  and  the  Acadians — Ulloa's  contempt  for  the  eccle- 
siastical laws— Frenchmen  have  often  shaken  off  a  foreign  yoke  with- 
out consent  of  the  government — The  Spanish  possessions  better  protected 
if  Louisiana  remains  French — The  loss  of  Canada  renders  Louisiana  very 
useful  to  France — Close  relations  with  merchants  of  France — Obstacle  to 
the  cession  is  love  for  the  King  of  France— The  flag  of  Spain  was  not 
insulted — Prayer  to  the  King  to  take  back  the  colony— The  Memorial  a 
noble  paper. 

CULAR  witnesses  of  the  calamities 
that  are  afflicting  us,  the  magistrates 
of  the  Superior  Council  of  Louisi- 
ana have  not  been  able  to  refuse  any 
longer  to  listen  to  the  plaintive  cries 
of  an  oppressed  people.  The  decree 
of  the  29th  of  October,  which  has 
followed   our  very  humble   representations,   is   a  local 


178  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [itob 

proof  of  the  imminence  of  the  dangers  that  surrounded 
us,  and  of  the  weight  of  the  yoke  that  was  beginning  to 
overwhelm  us.  Animated  by  the  circumstances  to  be- 
lieve that  great  evils  called  for  prompt  and  efficacious 
remedies,  our  magistrates  have  not  hesitated  a  moment 
about  the  necessary  action  of  sending  back  the  so-called 
governor  of  His  Catholic  Majesty,  to  render  him  an 
account  of  his  conduct.  But  their  diligent  cares  were 
not  limited  to  calming  the  anxieties  of  a  groaning  people. 
They  have  also  authorized  them  to  carry  their  supplica- 
tion and  their  desires  to  the  foot  of  the  throne,  being 
well  persuaded  that  the  compassionate  look  of  their  nat- 
ural sovereign  would  rest  upon  such  devoted  subjects, 
and  that  their  respectful  love  for  their  monarch  would 
not  be  rejected  by  his  beneficent  Majesty,  the  image  on 
earth  for  his  people  of  the  preserving  Being.  Zealous 
Frenchmen  whose  estates  and  families  are  established 
on  the  continent,  you  whose  pure  hearts  do  not  need  that 
the  eye  of  the  sovereign  should  animate  them,  you  whose 
zeal  for  your  incomparable  monarch  has  not  suffered 
from  the  crossing  and  the  distance  of  the  seas,  from  con- 
tact with  the  foreigner,  from  the  busy  activity  of  a  neigh- 
boring and  rival  nation,  calm  your  anxieties  about  the 
cession  of  this  province.  Our  great  King,  in  his  letter 
that  announces  it  to  us,  seemed  to  foresee  our  alarms. 
He  rendered  himself  mediator  of  our  cause  with  His 
Catholic  Majesty,  he  caused  us  to  hope  from  him  the 
same  marks  of  kindness  and  protection  that  one  enjoys 
under  his  cherished  domination.  Those  august  senti- 
ments must  embolden  our  love.    Let  the  cries  of  joy,  of 

1768]  PROMISES   OF  LOUIS  XV  179 

'  Long  live  the  King! '  repeated  so  often  around  our  pa- 
vilion on  the  day  of  the  revolution  and  during  the  two 
days  that  followed  it,  be  repeated  without  fear!  Let  our 
feeble  voice  inform  the  universe  and  posterity  even  that 
this  cherished  domination  under  which  we  wish  to  live 
and  to  die,  to  which  we  offer  the  remnants  of  our  for- 
tunes, our  blood,  our  children,  and  our  families,  is  the 
domination  of  Louis  the  Well-beloved. 

'  The  colony  of  Louisiana  was  ceded  to  His  Catholic 
Majesty  by  a  private  act  passed  at  Fontainebleau  on 
November  3,  1762,  and  accepted  by  another  act  passed 
at  the  Escurial  on  the  thirteenth  day  following.2  The 
King,  in  his  letter  written  from  Versailles,  on  April  21, 
1764,  to  M.  d'Abbadie,  then  director-general  and  com- 
mandant for  His  Majesty  in  Louisiana,  in  announcing 
this  cession  to  him,  says  he  hopes  at  the  same  time  for 
the  advantage  and  tranquillity  of  the  inhabitants  of  that 
colony,  and  that  he  promises  himself,  in  consequence  of 
the  friendship  and  affection  of  His  Catholic  Majesty, 
that  he  will  be  pleased  to  give  orders  to  his  governor  and 
to  all  other  officers  employed  in  his  service  in  said  colony, 
that  the  ecclesiastics  and  religious  houses  who  attend  to 
the  parochial  duties  and  to  the  missions  should  continue 
their  functions  there;  that  the  ordinary  judges  should 
continue,  as  well  as  the  Superior  Council,  to  render  jus- 
tice according  to  the  laws,  forms,  and  usages  of  the  col- 
ony,- that  the  inhabitants  be  kept  and  maintained  in  their 
possessions;  hoping  besides  that  His  Catholic  Majesty 
will  give  to  his  new  subjects  in  Louisiana  the  same  marks 
of  kindness  and  protection  that  were  felt  under  the  pre- 

180         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [nes 

ceding  domination,  and  whose  greater  effects  the  mis- 
fortunes of  war  alone  have  prevented  them  from  feeling; 
that  he  orders  him,  besides,  to  cause  the  present  letter  to 
be  registered  at  the  Superior  Council  of  New  Orleans,  in 
order  that  the  different  estates  of  the  colony  be  informed 
of  its  contents,  and  may  have  recourse  to  it  if  need  be, 
the  present  letter  being  for  no  other  end.  Fortunate 
and  consoling  expectation  which  the  promises  of  the 
most  august  and  most  respectable  of  monarchs  caused  to 
rise  in  our  hearts,  by  what  fatality  have  you  vanished! 

"  M.  Ulloa  arrived  at  the  Balize  on  February  28, 1766, 
in  a  frigate  of  twenty  guns,  having  about  eighty  sol- 
diers, three  Spanish  Capuchins,  and  persons  of  the  ad- 
ministration. He  debarked  in  the  city  on  March  5,  and, 
accompanied  by  the  magistrates  of  the  Council  them- 
selves, who  in  spite  of  the  rain  and  the  storm  had  gone 
to  his  canoe,  he  passed  between  two  rows  formed  by  the 
regular  troops  and  the  militia,  to  the  noise  of  cannon 
and  public  acclamation.  He  answered  at  first  to  such 
splendid  testimonials  with  the  most  brilliant  promises. 
But  the  results  did  not  prove  their  solidity.  Without 
entering  into  minute  details  of  his  private  life,  let  us 
retrace  the  measures  relative  to  the  public  cause.  If  he 
proposed  to  himself  as  his  principal  aim  to  destroy,  by 
the  force  of  his  clandestine  administration,  the  hopes 
with  which  we  flattered  ourselves,  he  has  succeeded  per- 

"  To  render  clearer  the  first  motive  of  our  complaints, 
it  is  proper  to  observe  that  the  trade  that  is  carried  on 
with  the  savage  natives  is  one  of  the  principal  branches 


of  commerce,  of  which  the  interest  is  so  closely  united 
here  with  that  of  the  cultivator,  that  one  is  the  spring  of 
the  other.  This  trade  is  a  very  advantageous  outlet  for 
the  products  of  several  manufactures,  which  will  shortly 
spread  hy  encouragement.  It  is  an  ahundant  mine,  of 
which  the  opening  presents  riches,  which  promises  treas- 
ures more  valuable  than  those  of  Potosi,  and  so  much  the 
more  considerable  as  the  activity  of  the  trade  will  dig 
deeper.  From  this  exhaustless  source  arises  the  advan- 
tage of  the  public  and  of  the  individual.  The  mer- 
chant finds  there  a  profitable  sale  for  his  goods;  the  la- 
borer, employed  in  these  journeys  and  in  this  trade,  gets 
there  the  means  of  subsisting  and  of  amassing  a  compe- 
tency. The  affection  of  the  natives  is  kept  up  by  fre- 
quent intercourse  with  the  French,  securing  to  them  the 
results  that  necessarily  follow  from  familiar  acquain- 
tance. Public  security  at  last,  from  which  this  trade  with 
the  barbarous  nations  that  surround  us  has  arisen,  is  pre- 
served by  it.  But  this  is  not  the  only  benefit  that  results 
from  it  for  the  colony  in  general.  The  ships  from  Eu- 
rope and  the  islands,  attracted  by  the  hope  of  an  advan- 
tageous exchange,  bring  to  us  the  provisions  we  need; 
and  as  they  find  in  our  stores  peltries  from  which  they 
hope  to  derive  a  profit,  those  goods  are  delivered  to  us 
at  a  fair  price,  which  would  be  excessive  if  they  must 
return  in  ballast.  Those  truths,  those  solid  advantages, 
have  been  considered  by  our  respected  ministers,  every 
time  their  precise  orders  have  encouraged  the  traders 
by  recommending  the  liberty  of  that  commerce.  The 
truth  of  this  has  been  well  recognized  and  expressly  de- 

182  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nes 

clared  by  Monseigneur  the  Duke  de  Choiseul  in  his  let- 
ter to  M.  dAbbadie,  dated  February  9,  1765.  All  north 
of  the  Mississippi  and  all  northwest  of  the  Missouri  were 
offered  then  to  our  activity.  Innumerable  nations,  rich 
in  rare  peltries,  who  inhabit  those  unknown  countries, 
would  in  a  short  time  be  secured  for  our  manufactures 
solely.  The  discoveries  to  be  made  in  these  beautiful 
countries  would  be  reserved  for  our  efforts,  and  our  eyes 
would  pierce  for  the  first  time,  for  the  profit  of  the  uni- 
verse, that  part  of  its  globe  which  still  remains  to  be 
known.  What  encouragement  for  us  the  intentions  of 
this  wise  minister!  We  see  him,  with  transports  of  grat- 
itude, not  only  lend  himself  to  the  reestablishment  of 
our  fortunes  overthrown  by  the  misfortunes  of  war,  and 
the  aggrandizement  of  our  resources  almost  annihilated 
by  the  very  conditions  of  peace,  but  also  extend  his  views 
to  geographical  discoveries,  and  trace  to  us  in  the  same 
picture  the  route  to  fortune  and  to  glory;  splendid  pro- 
ject which  M.  Ulloa  had  deranged  and  which  he  would 
have  overthrown  without  doubt!  Let  us  not  try  to 
penetrate  his  motives,  and  let  us  confine  ourselves  to  re- 
tracing the  perseverance  of  his  attempts  against  liberty 
of  trade.  They  were  manifested  at  first  in  the  very 
place  by  a  general  prohibition.  The  planters  and  mer- 
chants of  the  Illinois  have  protested.  They  have  ex- 
posed, in  their  representations  to  M.  St.  Ange,  French 
commandant  at  the  said  place,  the  certainty  of  their  ruin 
and  the  inevitable  danger  of  being  pillaged  and  perhaps 
slaughtered  by  the  savages,  who,  not  entering  into  po- 
litical considerations,  wish  to  be  provided  with  our  mer- 


ehandise  and  to  have  a  constant  trade  for  their  peltries. 
In  spite  of  the  repugnance  of  the  Sieur  Rios,  a  Spanish 
captain  sent  by  M.  Ulloa  to  the  Illinois  as  commandant, 
the  traders  have  gone  again  this  year  into  the  villages, 
with  this  difference,  that  they  have  been  reduced  to  a  cer- 
tain number;  but  it  was  the  last  effort  of  their  expiring 
privileges,  and  M.  Ulloa,  at  about  the  same  time,  granted 
to  five  or  six  individuals  an  exclusive  trade  in  these  coun- 
tries, recommended  by  our  ministers  for  general  compe- 

'  The  exploitation  of  the  woods  is  another  object  that 
occupies  here  the  merchant,  whose  interest  we  have  just 
united  so  closely  with  that  of  the  cultivator.  In  the  rep- 
resentations made  to  the  Superior  Council  of  this  prov- 
ince, it  has  been  shown  that  this  article  was  a  traffic 
which  exceeded  five  hundred  thousand  livres  each  year, 
and  this  truth  has  met  with  no  contradiction.  This  traf- 
fic, which  the  nature  of  the  country  presents  to  each 
one  with  a  benefit  in  proportion  to  the  forces  he  may 
employ,  but  always  certain  in  this  degree  of  proportion, 
is  the  first  effort  of  the  planter  who  begins,  and  the  ob- 
ject of  the  application  of  the  one  who  has  fortified  him- 
self. Take  away  in  Louisiana  the  freedom  of  trade, 
close  the  outlet  for  the  sale  of  its  lumber,  and  from  that 
moment  you  reduce  the  merchant  and  the  colonist  to 
idleness  and  want.  The  ordinance  published  on  Septem- 
ber 6,  1768,  only  threatened  us  with  that  danger.  His 
Catholic  Majesty,  we  were  told,  informed  by  M.  Ulloa 
of  all  that  concerned  in  this  country  supplies  and  traffic, 
wished  again  to  favor  the  planters  to  such  a  point  as  to 

184         A  HISTORY   OF  LOUISIANA         [nes 

permit  the  traffic  of  their  woods  on  he  ships  coming  from 
Santo  Domingo  and  Martinique,  until  means  had  been 
found  of  carrying  on  this  commerce  in  Spain!  It  was 
plunging  the  dagger  by  degrees,  and  the  great  blow 
has  been  struck  by  the  decree.  In  the  first  article,  it  is 
said  that  the  cargoes  will  be  taken  only  in  the  ports  of 
Seville,  Alicante,  Carthagena,  Malaga,  Barcelona,  Co- 
runna,  etc.  In  the  eighth,  that  the  return  cargoes  will  be 
taken  in  the  same  ports.  In  the  third  article,  the  ships 
that  are  sent  to  Louisiana  will  be  of  Spanish  construction, 
and  the  captains  and  crews  will  be  Spanish  or  natural- 
ized. Finally,  in  articles  fourth  and  fifth,  voluntary 
stopping  in  any  port  of  America,  even  of  the  Spanish 
domination,  is  prohibited,  and  the  forced  stopping  is 
submitted  to  verifications  and  onerous  charges.  Was 
there  remaining  to  us,  for  the  commerce  of  our  woods 
in  the  French  colonies  of  Santo  Domingo  and  Marti- 
nique, the  only  places  where  they  had  any  value, — was 
there  remaining  to  us,  I  say,  a  gleam  of  the  faintest 
hope?  Imprudent  censors,  whose  hardly  serious  reflec- 
tions might  extend  over  our  conduct  in  the  present  revo- 
lution, try,  I  consent  to  it,  by  your  problematical  combi- 
nations to  recompose  the  interrupted  harmony  by  making 
it  agree  with  the  decree;  but  think  first  of  teaching  us 
how  to  subsist. 

"  Besides,  what  appearance  of  resource  could  suspend 
at  least  our  just  anxieties?  The  produce  of  our  lands 
consists,  and  our  commerce  consists,  in  woods,  indigo,  pel- 
tries, tobacco,  cotton,  sugar,  resin,  and  tar.  Peltries  have 
so  much  less  value  in  Spain  that  they  are  little  used  there, 

1768]        NO  OUTLET  FOR  PRODUCTS         185 

and  the  preparation  of  those  which  are  used  is  done  in 
foreign  countries.  Havana  and  Peru  furnish  it  sugars 
and  lumber  far  preferable  to  ours;  Guatemala,  an  indigo 
superior  and  in  larger  quantity  than  its  factories  need; 
Peru,  Havana,  and  Campeachy,  cotton;  the  Isle  of 
Pines,  resin  and  tar;  Havana  and  the  Spanish  part  of 
Santo  Domingo,  tobacco.  Our  products,  inferior  to 
those  of  her  vast  possessions,  useless  besides  and  super- 
abundant in  its  ports,  are  disdained  there,  or  reduced 
to  very  little  value.  What  feeble  returns  must  we  ex- 
pect from  the  exports  that  will  be  made  of  them  in  the 
ports  to  which  the  decree  directs  us!  On  the  other  hand, 
the  few  manufactures  established  in  Spain,  added  to  the 
little  help  which  the  maritime  cities  get  from  the  inter- 
nal agriculture,  compel  the  subjects  of  His  Catholic  Maj- 
esty who  are  established  there  to  have  recourse  to  the 
foreigner  for  their  provisions  of  every  kind.  Marseilles 
furnishes  wheat  in  these  ports  which  could  not  supply 
themselves  with  the  country  itself  without  the  excessive 
cost  of  a  painful  export  through  a  mountainous  region. 
The  whole  nation,  besides,  is  tributary  to  all  the  manu- 
facturing countries  of  Europe,  and  the  most  signal  favor 
that  Providence  has  done  it  is  to  render  it  mistress  of 
Peru  and  of  Mexico,  to  purchase  its  first  needs.  Rich 
by  our  own  industry,  can  we  hope  that  Spain  will  supply 
our  needs  sufficiently  and  at  moderate  cost,  when  she  is 
herself  obliged  to  procure  hers  at  great  expense?  In 
spite  of  the  exemption,  momentary  perhaps,  which  the 
decree  announces  to  us,  from  all  duties  to  be  imposed  on 
goods  destined  to  Louisiana,  these  sad  truths,  known  by 

186         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         ines 

the  entire  universe,  added  to  the  certain  discredit  of  our 
goods  in  the  ports  of  Spain,  have  made  us  fear  justly 
that  our  crops,  although  abundant,  far  from  rewarding 
as  formerly  our  application  and  our  industry,  by  giving 
us  superabundance,  will  cease  to  produce  even  the  pure 
and  simple  necessities. 

"  According  to  these  observations,  although  they  are 
superficial,  yet  with  regard  to  the  certainties  from  which 
they  are  deduced,  can  one  doubt  for  a  moment  that  this 
colony,  as  to  its  products,  will  be  useless  to  Spain,  and 
that  the  political  views  in  the  treaty  of  cession  have  been 
restricted  to  the  sole  purpose  of  making  of  it  a  bulwark 
to  Mexico?  But  does  the  poverty  of  the  colonists  add 
any  new  force  to  this  rampart?  And  by  what  folly 
should  we  undermine  our  reviving  fortunes  by  destroy- 
ing the  liberty  of  our  commerce,  when  those  same  political 
views  do  not  seem  to  require  that  sacrifice?  Everything 
gives  us  cause  to  believe  that  His  Catholic  Majesty  wished 
to  be  informed  first,  through  the  reports  of  his  envoy,  of  the 
productive  causes  and  the  conservative  means  of  our  wel- 
fare. The  promises  of  our  King  assured  us  of  the  good 
will  of  the  new  sovereign,  and  of  the  gentleness  of  the 
future  domination.  The  officers  of  His  Catholic  Maj- 
esty announced  to  us,  on  their  arrival,  the  continuation 
of  our  commerce  at  least  for  ten  years ;  the  source  of  our 
needs,  known  in  Spain  without  our  having  indicated  it 
ourselves,  still  remained  open  to  our  activity;  but  have 
we  been  able  to  doubt,  when  we  saw  the  decree,  that  M. 
Ulloa,  intrusted  with  this  report, — as  the  ordinance  pub- 
lished here  on  September  6,  1766,  declares  to  us, — is  the 

1768]         NO  OUTLET   FOR  PRODUCTS         187 

Author  of  these  imminent  calamities,  and  that,  having 
planned  our  ruin,  his  hardly  truthful  reports  have  turned 
aside  the  effects  of  that  same  good  will  which  his  mas- 
ter wished  without  doubt  to  show  us? 

"  It  is  vain  to  say  that  the  last  article  of  the  decree  per- 
mits us  to  extract  from  the  ports  of  Spain  the  fruits  and 
goods  brought  from  Louisiana,  to  sell  them  in  foreign 
countries,  if  there  is  no  market  for  them  in  Spain,  and 
that  no  export  duty  need  be  paid.  In  all  that  is  pre- 
sented to  us  here,  where  is  there  any  true  advantage? 
Let  us  not  count  the  articles  of  the  decree,  but  let  us 
take  the  spirit,  and  let  us  not  read  any  of  these  articles 
without  following  the  links  that  bind  them  so  intimately 
the  one  to  the  other.  True,  it  will  be  permitted  to  us  to 
sell  in  foreign  countries  our  goods  and  products  which 
cannot  be  sold  in  Spain,  but  on  what  conditions?  Our 
merchants,  naturalized  Spaniards,  according  to  article 
3  of  the  decree,  will  be  compelled  to  go  to  the  ports  of 
Seville  and  Malaga,  and  to  pay  the  four  per  cent,  ac- 
cording to  article  12.  Forced,  by  the  want  of  sale  for 
their  goods,  to  leave  those  ports  and  go  to  the  neighbor- 
ing countries,  they  will  have  to  return  in  ballast  to  the 
ports  of  Spain,  according  to  article  1,  to  take  their  cargo 
of  fruits  and  goods  already  introduced  into  Spain,  which 
will  have  paid  the  import  duties  according  to  article  7. 
Do  those  costly  proceedings  dispel  our  sorrowful  reflec- 
tions upon  the  general  famine  that  was  threatening  us? 
Let  us  add  to  that  the  cost  of  the  ships,  estimated  by  our 
chambers  of  commerce  at  three  thousand  livres  every 
month  for  a  ship  of  three  hundred  tons;  that  of  unload- 

188         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [nea 

ing  in  the  ports  of  Spain  and  reloading  for  the  foreign 
countries ;  the  doubling  of  commission  and  insurance,  the 
cost  of  storing,  the  increase  of  damages,  the  duties  from 
which  the  neighboring  countries  will  not  excuse  us  on 
goods  coming  from  Spain — and  we  shall  see  the  decree 
as  a  great  alembic  rarefying  our  crops  unto  the  fifth 

"  The  promises  of  our  King,  repeated  in  his  letter  of 
April  21,  1764,  made  us  hope  that  we  should  always 
have  the  same  laws  to  follow  and  the  same  judges  to 
listen  to.  But  what  a  breach  was  made  in  this  article 
by  M.  Ulloa  at  the  very  beginning  of  his  administration ! 
He  has  not  yet  taken  possession ;  his  titles  have  been  nei- 
ther verified  nor  registered,  nor  even  presented;  no  bond 
attaches  us  yet  to  his  authority;  nothing  but  a  respectful 
deference  for  the  character  with  which  one  sees  him 
clothed,  promises  to  him  our  obedience;  and  severe  pun- 
ishments, chastisements  unknown  under  the  French 
domination  still  existing,  are  inflicted  already  by  his  order 
for  the  lightest  faults, — assuming  that  they  are  faults. 
One  should  not  imagine  that  these  false  principles  of 
administration  and  the  sad  novelties  of  an  unknown  dom- 
ination have  been  the  only  motives  of  our  fears  and  of  the 
alarm  in  our  families.  The  law  of  Spain  may  have  its 
pleasing  features  and  advantages  which  we  do  not  know ; 
but  the  antipathy  against  humanity  and  the  natural  dis- 
position to  do  harm,  recognized  in  the  person  intrusted 
with  presenting  that  law  to  us,  make  us  feel  its  hardest 
consequences.  The  Spanish  policy  narrows  the  ports  as 
much  as  possible,  to  close  them  at  its  will  against  stran- 

1768]  CLOSING  THE  PASSES  189 

gers  and  to  forbid  them  entirely  to  the  interloper.  In 
consequence  of  this  law,  the  envoy  of  His  Catholic  Maj- 
esty has  closed  all  the  passes  of  the  Mississippi,  with 
the  exception  of  one;  but  the  one  that  he  has  chosen  is 
the  shallowest,  the  most  difficult,  and  the  most  perilous. 
A  law  almost  universal  forbids  establishments  within 
a  certain  distance  of  the  citadels  and  fortifications  of 
frontier  towns.  M.  Ulloa  has  concluded  from  this  that 
establishments  formed  at  the  beginning  of  the  colony,  by 
concession  of  our  prince,  and  under  the  eye  of  his  gov- 
ernors, should  no  longer  subsist, on  account  of  the  proxim- 
ity of  an  inclosure  of  stakes  with  which  for  some  time 
the  city  has  been  closed.  Condemnation  to  mines  is  pre- 
scribed by  the  law  of  Spain  against  malefactors  and  dan- 
gerous men.  M.  Ulloa  has  not  hesitated  to  pronounce 
it  against  esteemed  citizens,  whose  crime  was  no  other 
than  to  have  been  the  interpreters  of  their  compatriots 
and  the  bearers  of  respectful  representations  declaring 
our  needs,  and  tending  only  to  the  encouragement  of  our 
agriculture,  the  increase  of  our  commerce,  the  importing 
of  things  needed  by  us,  and  the  general  good  of  the 
country.  The  packets  that  are  remitted  by  worthy  per- 
sons deserve  so  much  more  diligence  and  exactitude  that 
they  may  interest  the  common  cause.  But  those  who  have 
taken  charge  of  them  have  never  held  themselves  respon- 
sible for  major  force,  contrary  winds,  and  risks  and 
perils  of  the  sea.  To  what  hard  and  vexatious  treat- 
ments M.  Ulloa  subjected  the  Sieurs  Gagnard  and 
Gachon,  because  their  ships  had  not  been  able  to  remit 
his  packets  at  Havana  on  account  of  contrary  weather! 

190         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nes 

A  decree  of  the  Superior  Council  of  this  province  had 
forbidden,  for  just  and  wise  reasons,  the  introduction  of 
domiciled  negroes  from  Santo  Domingo  and  other  isl- 
ands; but  the  execution  of  it  was  reduced  to  visiting  the 
slave  ships  on  their  arrival  and  sending  back  as  soon  as 
possible  those  who  were  prohibited.  M.  Ulloa  had 
added  to  it  the  sequestration  of  the  property,  the  im- 
prisonment of  the  persons,  and,  without  any  menacing 
ordinance,  which  should  always  precede  the  first  punish- 
ments, he  has  enforced  it  against  Cadis  and  Leblanc, 
whose  sole  crime  was  that  they  did  not  know  of  the  ex- 
istence of  this  decree.  These  facts,  which  are  of  notoriety, 
and  of  which  several  persons  have  been  the  victims,  in- 
terest the  public  cause  more  than  one  can  imagine.  To 
render  the  consequences  better  understood,  we  shall  enter 
into  a  detail  of  several. 

"As  for  the  interdiction  of  the  passes  of  the  Mississippi, 
it  must  be  known  that  M.  Ulloa,  in  spite  of  all  that  was 
told  him  and  that  he  might  have  seen  himself,  or  learned 
by  unfortunate  events,  had  persisted  obstinately  in  open- 
ing only  the  pass  northeast,  where  there  is,  in  the  highest 
tides,  only  nine  to  ten  feet  of  water ;  forbidding  that  any 
ship  should  enter  or  go  out  by  any  other  pass,  of  which 
the  depth  is  usually  from  ten  to  twelve  feet.  To  this  pro- 
bibition,  which  is  so  troublesome  and  so  perilous,  he  had 
added  another  that  was  still  more  so.  This  was  the  pro- 
hibition to  the  pilots  to  sleep  on  board  the  vessels  an- 
chored in  front  of  the  pass,  which  the  winds  and  the 
want  of  water  prevented  them  from  entering.  From 
this  arose  repeated  inconveniences  and  accidents,  which, 

ires]  CLOSING   THE   PASSES  191 

however,  did  not  make  him  change  his  first  arrangement. 
The  first  inconvenience  was  the  delay  to  the  ships  that 
were  going  out,  a  delay  costly  and  frequent  at  all  times, 
hut  almost  inevitable  in  winter,  when  the  north-northeast 
winds  are  frequent,  which  cannot  serve  for  the  northeast 
pass,  while  they  not  only  hring  the  ships  out  of  the  east 
pass,  but  set  them  on  their  journey  without  their  having 
to  wait  after  getting  out  of  the  pass.  There  was  similar 
difficulty  in  entering:  when  the  winds  were  southwest  and 
south-southwest,  one  could  not  enter  by  the  northeast 
pass;  those  winds  were  favorable  to  the  east  pass.  Be- 
sides, as  the  Spanish  officer  at  the  Balize  compelled  the 
ships  that  had  entered  the  river  to  anchor  in  front  of  the 
houses  of  the  Balize,  an  anchorage  exposed  to  all  winds 
and  of  little  depth,  there  were  great  risks,  which  might 
have  been  avoided  by  anchoring  at  Lafourche,  or  by  con- 
tinuing up  the  river,  according  to  the  former  custom, 
which  was  not  more  favorable  to  those  against  whom  one 
might  have  wished  to  close  the  port.  Besides,  in  all 
countries,  when  a  coast  pilot  has  set  foot  on  board  a  ship, 
he  does  not  leave  it  before  the  ship  has  come  in  or  gone 
out,  and  is  placed  in  safety ;  the  pilot  navigating  day  and 
night,  according  to  the  requirements  of  the  case  and  the 
vicissitudes  of  the  weather.  If  this  rule  is  ever  to  be 
inviolate,  without  doubt  it  should  be  in  our  regions,  sur- 
rounded with  low  lands,  and  near  a  large  river  of  which 
the  bottom  is  of  mud  in  one  place,  of  sand  in  another, 
where  from  one  hour  to  another  the  winds  change  and 
the  waters  increase  or  diminish.  Therefore,  when  the 
pilots  were  prohibited  from  sleeping  on  board,  in  a  sud- 

192         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ms 

den  gust  of  wind,  and  at  night,  a  captain  who  was  not 
familiar  with  the  place,  knowing  neither  the  bottom  nor 
the  passes,  had  no  resource.  Obliged  to  get  under  sail, 
and  often  to  abandon  his  anchors  and  his  cables,  he  would 
encounter  the  neighboring  reefs,  called  the  '  sheep,'  or  at 
least  fall  under  the  wind  of  the  pass,  without  hope  of 
going  up  for  a  long  time.  Finally,  if  he  had  the  good 
luck  to  sail,  he  would  come  back,  after  a  great  deal  of 
time  and  trouble,  only  to  meet  the  same  dangers. 

"  Navigation,  that  art  so  useful  to  states,  does  it  de- 
serve then  that  one  should  help  nature  to  increase  its 
troubles  and  its  perils?  The  fortune  of  ship-owners  and 
the  lives  of  sailors,  are  they  so  little  precious  that  the 
caprice  of  one  man  should  subject  them  to  dangers  al- 
most inevitable?  Question  the  captains  and  the  crews 
from  Europe  and  the  islands,  who  have  come  here  for 
the  past  two  years  and  a  half ;  all  have  seen  the  new  perils 
invented  by  M.  Ulloa;  several  have  been  the  objects 
and  the  victims  of  his  bad  combinations.  Without  men- 
tioning the  many  examples,  the  accident  to  Captain  Sar- 
ron,  at  the  mouth  of  the  river,  is  striking.  After  re- 
maining for  a  long  time  without  being  able  to  go  out  by 
the  northeast  pass,  the  winds  being  north  and  north- 
northeast,  he  entered  the  pass  at  last,  the  winds  having 
changed ;  but  the  weather  had  lowered  the  depth  to  such 
an  extent  that  he  remained  in  the  pass.  He  was  fortu- 
nate enough  to  get  back  into  the  river.  He  went  up  to 
the  city  to  careen  his  ship  a  second  time.  Note  that  the 
city  is  thirty  leagues  from  the  mouth  of  the  river,  that 
one  is  often  obliged  to  pull  ships  up  the  river  with  ropes, 

ires]  ACCIDENTS   TO  VESSELS  193 

and  that  it  happened  several  times  that  it  took  fifty  or 
sixty  days  to  reach  the  city.  The  Sieur  Sarron  lost  his 
trip.  It  cost  him  a  great  deal,  and  if  the  east  pass  had  not 
heen  forbidden,  and  it  had  heen  allowed  to  pilots  to  fre- 
quent it,  he  would  have  gone  out  without  delay  and  with- 
out danger. 

"But  at  the  very  time  when  we  are  writing  this  Me- 
morial, the  trumpet  announces  to  us  that  the  rigging 
and  the  artillery  of  the  vessel  Carlota,  from  Rochelle, 
almost  buried  in  the  sands,  are  being  sold  at  auction. 
Captain  Lacoste  would  not  be  lamenting  the  loss  of  his 
ship  if,  when  he  was  ready  to  enter,  he  had  been  per- 
mitted at  night  to  keep  on  board  the  pilot,  who,  not 
being  able  to  put  him  in  the  passes,  would  have  indicated 
to  him  a  mud  bottom  from  which  he  could  have  extricated 
himself,  as  it  happened  to  several,  and  among  others  to 
Captain  Chouriac. 

"  A  x"ew  persons  make  brick,  which  is  used  and  con- 
sumed here.  The  three  principal  brickyards  are  at  the 
three  principal  gates  of  this  city.  One  of  the  largest, 
where  several  men  are  employed,  is  the  patrimony  of 
four  minors,  and  is  rented  sometimes  for  more  than 
twelve  thousand  livres  a  year.  This  land  can  produce 
no  other  revenue,  and  the  men  cannot  produce  enough 
to  feed  them.  The  city,  besides,  feels  no  inconvenience 
from  the  brickyards,  and  as  the  lands  from  which  the 
necessary  clay  is  drawn  are  far  from  the  highway,  the 
public  road  is  neither  narrowed  nor  embarrassed.  M. 
Ulloa  attacked  first  the  judicial  tenant  of  this  brickyard, 
and   absolutely   forbade   him   to   continue   work   under 

194  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nes 

penalty  of  seizure  of  negroes,  oxen,  carts,  and  utensils. 
The  interested  parties,  after  many  efforts,  succeeded 
finally  in  obtaining  from  him  the  reason  of  this  prohibi- 
tion. He  said  that  the  holes  from  which  the  clay  was 
taken  tended  to  destroy  the  salubrity  of  the  air.  They 
provided  themselves,  to  dissuade  him,  with  reports  of 
physicians  and  surgeons.  M.  Lebeau,  doctor  of  medi- 
cine, in  the  pay  of  His  Majesty,  has  even  given  on  that 
subject  learned  observations,  convincing  on  every  point. 
As  for  the  ordinary  reflections,  they  were  that  the  coun- 
try had  always  been  very  healthful  in  spite  of  the  holes 
of  the  brickyards  and  the  cypress  swamps,  which  are  on 
both  sides  of  the  river,  and  surround  the  city;  that,  ac- 
cording to  that  system,  it  would  be  necessary  also  to  fill 
the  swamps,  where  the  waters  remain  during  the  greater 
part  of  the  year.  M.  Ulloa  had  doubtless  not  foreseen 
these  objections,  but  he  imagined  and  adopted  another, 
which  he  believed  to  be  unanswerable;  it  is,  that  the  es- 
tablishments should  be  removed  from  the  fortifications, 
—giving  this  name  to  an  inclosure  of  wooden  spikes 
which  has  nothing  secret,  and  the  approach  to  which  is 
without  consequence.  The  affair,  however,  has  dragged 
along  without  any  one  being  able  to  obtain  from  him 
either  a  written  order  to  cease  or  a  verbal  permission  to 
continue;  and  several  persons  have  thought,  with  reason, 
that  brickmaking  was  coveted  by  one  or  two  individuals, 
which  agreed  very  well  with  the  inclination  of  the  Span- 
ish envoy  to  reduce  everything  to  exclusive  privileges. 

"  This   indomitable   inclination   was   manifested   still 
more  in  the  prohibition  that  he  made  last  year,  of  bring- 

1768]        IMPORTATION  OF  NEGROES         195 

ing  negroes  into  this  colony,  on  the  pretext  of  a  competi- 
tion that  would  have  been  harmful  to  an  English  mer- 
chant of  Jamaica,  who  had  sent  a  boat  to  M.  Ulloa  to 
win  his  favor  for  the  enterprise  of  furnishing  slaves. 
This  was  a  blow  both  at  commerce  and  at  agriculture. 
It  was  taking  away  from  the  merchant  a  considerable 
object,  and  restricting  the  means  of  the  colonist  to 
fortify  himself;  for  this  competition,  harmful  to  the 
English  dealer,  became  advantageous  to  the  planter,  who 
would  have  given  the  preference  to  the  cheapness  and 
better  constitution  of  the  slaves.  What  then!  Take  away 
from  new  subjects  the  most  natural  means  of  profit,  to 
gratify  a  stranger  with  them!  Is  it  thus  that  a  new  ad- 
ministration announces  itself?  Has  M.  Ulloa  received 
these  orders  from  his  master?  Who  would  dare  presume 
it?  But  is  not  one  tempted  to  believe  that  vile  reasons 
of  interest  entered  into  the  order  of  his  exclusive  pro- 

"  Our  governors  and  magistrates  have  always  been  re- 
garded by  us  as  our  fathers.  Every  time  we  thought 
we  should  make  to  them  our  very  humble  representations 
on  our  particular  needs  or  on  the  general  interest,  we 
were  favorably  received.  If  we  address  ourselves  to  the 
governors  and  commandants,  far  from  regarding  us  as 
rebellious  and  mutinous  (a  favorite  expression  of  M. 
Ulloa),  they  approve  our  action  as  conforming  to  the 
sentiment  of  the  tine  citizen.  We  have  a  proof  of  this 
in  the  answer  of  M.  Aubry,  on  June  28,  1765,  to  the 
Memoir  of  the  merchants  of  New  Orleans.  He  dispels 
our  anxieties.    Being  the  agent  of  the  minister  with  re- 

196         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nes 

gard  to  us,  he  communicates  to  us  the  orders  he  has  re- 
ceived from  him,  and  gives  us  a  copy  of  the  letters  he  has 
written  in  consequence  to  the  officers  of  the  posts.  He 
ends  by  encouraging  us,  and  by  asking  from  us  a  recip- 
rocal zeal.  If  we  address  ourselves  to  the  Council,  our 
memorials  are  examined  there;  if  our  requests  appear 
just,  the  voice  of  the  attorney-general  seconds  ours,  and 
the  court  deliberates  afterward.  The  event  of  the  29th 
of  October  is  a  recent  proof  of  this.  Royal  promises 
made  us  hope  for  the  same  gentleness,  the  same  liberty, 
the  same  privileges  in  the  new  government.  But,  very 
far  from  assuring  us  of  the  continuation  of  them,  M. 
Ulloa  did  not  wish  to  allow  even  the  appearances  to  sub- 
sist any  longer.  The  ordinance  published  on  September 
6,  1766,  caused  the  merchants  to  make  representations 
which  they  addressed  to  their  magistrates.  M.  Ulloa 
treated  them  as  seditious  without  knowing  them;  and 
although  our  judges,  through  condescension,  would  have 
suspended  their  judgment,  he  thought  he  should  attempt 
to  make  an  example  capable  of  frightening  in  advance 
any  one  who  should  dare  to  say  anything  about  his  needs 
or  his  interests.  Merchants  from  this  place,  whom  with- 
out doubt  he  believed  to  be  the  principal  authors  of  these 
representations,  attached  to  the  country  by  their  family, 
their  credit,  their  commerce,  and  their  entire  fortune,  saw 
themselves  threatened  with  confiscation  of  their  property 
and  imprisonment  of  their  persons, — a  judgment  which 
must  have  emanated  from  the  sole  tribunal  of  M.  Ulloa, 
and  the  effects  of  which  they  avoided  with  trouble. 
"  But  who  was,  then,  this  officer  of  His  Catholic  Maj- 

1768]  ORDINANCE   OF   1766  197 

esty?  With  what  commission  Mas  he  provided?  With 
what  unheard-of  privilege  was  he  clothed,  to  exercise 
such  a  tyrannical  authority,  even  before  he  had  shown 
his  authority  or  his  titles,  which  we  do  not  yet  know? 
A  confused  rumor  tells  us  that,  during  the  long  stay 
which  he  made  at  the  Balize  with  M.  Aubry,  our  com- 
mandant, there  was  passed  between  them  an  act  under 
private  seal.  If  that  is  true,  what  has  been  his  political 
principle  in  not  rendering  this  act  public,  and  in  not  de- 
claring his  rank,  unless  it  be  to  mask  his  tyranny  under 
cover  of  the  French  domination? 

"  The  term  tyranny  appears  strong.  Let  us  add  to  it 
that  of  vexation,  to  correspond  with  the  truth  of  the 
facts.  With  what  threatening  pomp,  when  at  the  same 
time  he  was  receiving  from  us  only  marks  of  a  blind  sub- 
mission, have  we  seen  him  present  with  one  hand  the  first 
fruits  of  the  new  law,  and  the  avenging  sword  of  the 
other  ordinance  of  September  6,  1766, — first  decree  of 
his  will  that  has  been  published  here,  where  the  august 
name  of  His  Majesty  has  been  abusively  employed. 
This  ordinance,  I  say,  has  been  promulgated  in  our  pub- 
lic places,  to  the  sound  of  the  drum  and  at  the  head  of 
twenty  Spanish  soldiers  armed  with  rifles  and  bayonets. 
Was  it  to  insult  us,  or  to  impose  silence  upon  our  mur- 
murs? In  the  first  case,  what  would  he  then  have  done,  this 
Ulloa,  in  a  conquered  city  captured  by  storm?  What 
display  would  he  have  chosen  to  proclaim  his  ordinances 
there,  since  he  has  used  a  similar  one  with  friends  and 
allies?  Did  he  take  us  for  savages  of  Peru  and  Mexico? 
In  the  second  case,  the  envoy  from  Spain  was  not  igno- 

198  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

rant  of  the  fact  that  this  ordinance,  fruit  of  his  erroneous 
relations,  was  diametrically  opposed  to  our  welfare,  and 
capable  at  first  sight  of  exciting  our  murmurs.  As  he 
is  loaded  with  our  hatred,  which  he  has  so  justly  deserved, 
his  nation  may  reproach  him  again  with  having  failed  in 
the  rules  of  policy,  by  forcing  us  to  fear  the  Spanish  gov- 

"  With  indignation  we  have  seen  him  negotiate  with  an 
Englishman  for  the  liberty  of  four  Germans  for  fifteen 
dollars  a  head;  and  when,  on  the  day  of  the  revolution, 
M.  Aubry,  our  commandant,  urged  by  our  prayers  and 
our  entreaties,  demanded  them  again  with  authority,  we 
saw  those  new  freedmen  descend  from  the  Spanish  frig- 
ate where  their  new  master  detained  them,  and  throAv 
themselves  on  the  levee  at  the  knees  of  their  liberators. 
We  saw  those  unfortunate  victims  of  the  scourge  of 
war,  those  persevering  citizens,  who  have  sacrificed  their 
hereditary  possessions  to  patriotic  sentiment,  those  un- 
fortunate Acadians  who,  received  formerly  in  our  ports, 
protected  by  our  commandants  and  our  judges,  were  be- 
ginning to  be  consoled  for  their  disasters  and  were  labor- 
ing to  repair  them, — we  saw  them  frightened  by  the  fren- 
zied wrath  of  M.  Ulloa,  for  such  a  slight  subject  as 
very  humble  representations.  Trembling  at  his  threats, 
they  believed  the  liberty  of  their  families  at  stake,  and 
they  thought  they  saw  themselves  sold  at  auction  to 
pay  for  the  rations  of  the  King.  Are  we  at  Fez,  or  at 
Morocco  ? 

"  What  has  he  not  done,  finally,  this  singular  man,  in 
the  acts  even  of  private  life?    What  humiliation  did  not 

itg8]         VIOLATION    OF    THE    LAWS  199 

the  French  nation  receive  from  him  during  his  stay  here, 
not  only  hy  the  violation  of  the  rights  of  persons,  but 
also  by  scorn  for  the  ecclesiastical  laws?  Besides  ab- 
staining from  frequenting  our  churches, — through  dis- 
dain, without  doubt,  for  the  French  Catholics, — and  hav- 
ing mass  celebrated  in  his  house,  he  has  again  caused 
his  chaplain  to  confer  the  sacrament  of  marriage  upon 
two  persons,  of  whom  the  woman  was  a  negro  slave  and 
the  man  white,  without  the  permission  of  the  curate, 
without  any  publication  of  banns,  without  any  form  or 
solemnity  required  by  the  church,  contrary  to  the  Council 
of  Trent,  and  contrary  to  the  precise  disposition  of  all 
ordinances,  civil  as  well  as  canonical. 

"  What  would  be  reprehensible,  then,  in  the  decision 
which  the  conduct  and  the  vexations  of  M.  Ulloa  have 
made  us  take?  What  wrong  have  we  done  in  shaking 
off  a  foreign  yoke,  which  the  hand  that  imposed  it  ren- 
dered still  more  overwhelming?  What  wrong  have  we 
done,  finally,  in  claiming  back  our  laws,  our  country,  our 
sovereign,  to  vow  to  him  the  perseverance  of  our  love? 
Are,  then,  those  praiseworthy  attempts  without  an  ex- 
ample in  our  history?  More  than  one  town  of  France, 
provinces  even, — Quercy,  Rouergue,  Gascony,  Cahors, 
Montauban, — have  they  not  several  times  broken  the 
English  yoke  with  fury,  or  refused  their  fetters  with 
constancy?  In  vain  did  the  treaties,  the  cessions,  the  or- 
ders even  renewed  of  our  kings  attempt  sometimes  what 
the  fortune  of  English  arms  was  nevertheless  incapable 
of  achieving;  and  that  noble  resistance  to  the  will  of  the 
natural  sovereigns,  far  from  exciting  their  anger,  has 

200         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

awakened  their  tenderness,  attracted  their  assistance,  and 
effected  a  complete  deliverance. 

"  But,  furthermore,  of  what  use  to  Spain  would  be 
the  colony  of  Louisiana?  Inferior  in  its  products  to  the 
rich  countries  that  Spain  possesses,  our  country  could 
only  be  a  rampart  for  Mexico.  Would  this  rampart  be 
impenetrable  to  the  forces  of  His  Britannic  Majesty, 
who,  already  master  of  the  country  east  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, would  share  the  navigation  of  the  river  with  Spain, 
and  who  has  establishments  to  which  the  access  is  not 
alone  by  the  mouth  of  the  river,  but  also  by  the  immediate 
proximity  of  the  other  countries  of  the  north,  where  his 
domination  is  established? 

"  The  keeping  of  this  colony  by  France  protects  better 
the  possessions  of  Spain  on  this  side  than  the  cession 
made  to  that  crown.  The  disadvantageous  impressions 
of  Spain  already  received  by  the  savage  nations,  which 
have  drawn  upon  M.  Rios,  Spanish  captain,  comman- 
dant at  the  Illinois,  not  only  insults,  but  threats,  would 
range  the  savages,  in  case  of  attack,  with  the  hostile 
party.  On  the  contrary,  those  peoples  would  always 
march  with  the  French  soldier,  without  asking  for  whom 
one  wishes  to  fight.     That  is  the  true  rampart. 

"  Since  Spain  can  find  no  advantage  in  the  acquisi- 
tion of  this  immense  province,  and  since,  certainly,  the 
strict  limits  of  her  commerce  would  reduce  us  almost  to 
mere  existence,  why  should  the  two  sovereigns  agree  to 
render  us  unfortunate  through  the  sole  pleasure  of  doing 
so?  It  is  a  crime  to  believe  it,  and  such  sentiments  do 
not  enter  the  hearts  of  kings.    The  protection  that  ours 

1768]         UTILITY    OF    THE    COLONY  201 

promises  us  in  his  letter  of  April  21,  1764,  from  the  new 
sovereign,  shows  that  they  were  conspiring  for  our  hap- 
piness ;  and  the  respectful  silence  that  we  have  kept  thus 
far  on  the  reality  of  our  interests,  has  without  douht 
prevented  them  from  attaining  the  true  means  that  might 
make  us  happy.  As  for  the  utility  that  this  colony  may 
be  to  France,  a  little  reflection  renders  it  apparent.  The 
loss  of  Canada  having  closed  that  outlet  to  the  manufac- 
tures with  which  France  abounds,  the  preservation  of 
Louisiana  may  repair  in  a  short  time  a  loss  so  hurtful 
to  the  national  industry.  The  efforts  of  the  true  French- 
men established  here,  and  those  who  come  every  day  to 
establish  themselves,  may  easily  increase  this  trade  of  the 
Missouri,  opened  already  with  happy  results,  and  to  the 
aggrandizement  of  which  are  lacking  the  encourage- 
ment and  aid  which  the  French  domination  alone  can 
procure.  Even  the  savages  from  Canada  come  every 
day  to  trade  at  the  Illinois  for  French  goods,  which  they 
prefer  to  those  that  the  English  carry  to  their  villages. 
Let  one  cease  to  forge  shackles  for  our  activity,  and  soon 
the  English  will  cease  to  sell  to  France  the  peltries  she  con- 
sumes. Our  manufacturers,  in  exporting  them,  will  find 
an  assured  sale,  which  will  bring  profit ;  and  in  the  peltries 
— to  which  may  be  added  our  indigo,  our  sugar, our  cotton 
— they  will  have  the  raw  material  that  feeds  factories 
and  gives  work  to  laborers.  If,  then,  the  ability  for  man- 
ufactures in  the  kingdom  is  so  well  recognized  that  it 
has  drawn  to  them  at  all  times  a  particular  protection 
from  the  sovereign,  is  it  not  in  the  political  order  that 
this  protection  be  extended  to  preserve  for  them  re- 

202  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

sources  for  which  it  would  use  perhaps  the  power  of  the 
state,  if  it  were  a  question  of  acquiring  them? 

"  Join  to  these  considerations  the  reimbursement — sus- 
pended since  1759 — of  the  seven  millions  of  royal  paper 
that  formed  our  currency  and  the  basis  of  our  commerce ; 
join  the  union  by  reciprocal  obligations  of  the  merchants 
of  France  to  us  and  of  us  to  the  merchants  of  France, 
who  await  their  fate  from  that  which  it  may  please  the 
lord  our  King  to  give  to  these  finances ;  add  to  it  our  ob- 
ligation to  work  for  the  reestablishment  of  our  shattered 
fortunes,  without  being  able  to  get  any  aid  from  those 
old  funds,  shares  formerly  of  any  one  in  proportion  to 
his  economy,  his  emulation,  or  his  patrimony, — and  it 
will  be  seen  that  our  new  efforts  deserve  to  be  seconded 
by  our  King. 

"  As  we  are  zealous  observers  of  all  the  respect  due 
to  crowned  heads,  and  of  the  mutual  attentions  that  civil- 
ized peoples  owe  to  each  other,  we  should  be  in  despair 
if  our  deeds  were  not  to  conform  to  them.  There  is  no- 
thing offensive  to  the  Court  of  Madrid  in  the  exposition 
of  our  needs  and  in  the  assurances  of  our  love  which  we 
carry  to  the  feet  of  our  august  sovereign.  We  dare  hope 
that  those  marks  of  our  zeal  will  serve  again  to  prove 
to  nations  the  truth  of  the  title  '  Well-beloved  '  which  the 
entire  world  gives  to  him,  and  which  no  other  monarch 
has  enjoyed  until  now.  Perhaps  one  will  say  at  Madrid 
even:  '  Happy  this  prince  our  ally,  who  finds  for  obstacle 
to  his  treaty  of  cession  the  attachment  of  his  subjects  to 
his  domination  and  to  his  glorious  person!' 

1768]  APPEAL   TO   LOUIS  XV  203 

"  We  are  not  ignorant  that  the  envoy  from  Spain  took, 
hefore  his  departure,  and  is  still  gathering  through  emis- 
saries, certificates  from  some  individuals  who  reside 
among  us;  mercenary  clients  whom  he  attached  to  him- 
self by  brilliant  promises,  and  who  are  here  seeking  to 
proselyte  by  persuading  the  simple  and  frightening  the 
weak.  But  whatever  these  hardly  authentic  certificates 
may  contain,  they  will  never  belie  the  general  voice  and 
public  notoriety.  The  Genoese,  English,  and  Dutch 
merchants,  witnesses  of  the  revolution,  will  testify  to  the 
truth  in  their  country.  They  will  certify,  in  a  much  more 
certain  manner,  that  our  pavilion  rose,  without  the  Span- 
ish frigate  having  received  the  least  insult  to  its  own; 
that  M.  Ulloa  embarked  with  all  the  liberty  possible 
and  without  any  act  on  our  part  that  appeared  even  im- 
proper; that  then  and  since  we  have  redoubled  our  cour- 
tesies and  attentions  toward  the  other  officers  of  His 
Catholic  Majesty;  that  during  the  three  days  of  the  rev- 
olution (a  thing  unique  and  singular,  by  the  avowal  of 
the  Spaniards  themselves)  there  rose  not  from  among 
more  than  twelve  hundred  men  of  the  militia,  among  the 
women,  the  children,  the  whole  people,  any  cry  injurious 
to  the  nation,  and  the  oidy  cries  that  were  heard,  in  which 
the  strangers  themselves  took  part,  were:  '  Long  live  the 
King  of  France! '    '  Long  live  Louis  the  Well-beloved! ' 

"  It  is  to  His  beneficent  Majesty  that  we,  planters, 
merchants,  and  colonists  of  Louisiana,  address  our  very 
humble  prayers  that  he  should  take  back  the  colony  in- 
stantlv;  and  as  we  are  resolved  to  live  and  to  die  under 

204         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [lira 

his  cherished  domination,  determined  to  do  all  that  may 
he  required  for  the  prosperity  of  his  arms,  the  extension 
of  his  power,  the  glory  of  his  reign,  we  beg  him  to  be 
willing  to  preserve  to  us  our  patriotic  name,  our  laws,  and 
our  privileges. 

"  At  New  Orleans, 

"At  Denis  Braud's,  Printer  to  the  King. 

"  With  permission  of  the  Ordaining  Commissioner. 

We  have  given  in  full  the  translation  of  the  Memo- 
rial of  1768  on  account  of  its  interest  and  importance. 
It  is  a  noble  document,  and  it  does  honor  to  the  men  of 
that  time.  We  can  understand  their  indignation  at  being 
rudely  torn  from  their  country  and  harassed  by  unwise 
commercial  ordinances  issued  by  a  man  who  had  never 
publicly  shown  his  commission  as  governor  for  Spain. 
We  see  in  this  Memorial  hatred  for  the  foreigner,  and 
a  spirit  of  independence  combined  with  great  love  for 
France.  The  eulogy  of  the  King  appears  fulsome  to  us ; 
but  we  should  remember  that  the  colonists  had  been 
brought  up  to  venerate  their  monarch,  and  they  were 
at  too  great  a  distance  from  the  mother  country  to  be 
able  to  understand  thoroughly  the  despicable  character 
of  Louis  XV.  The  last  words  of  the  Memorial  are  very 
pathetic,  and  we  should  have  sympathy  for  men  who  are 
praying  for  the  preservation  of  their  patriotic  name,  of 
their  laws  and  their  privileges. 

On  page  17  of  the  Memorial 3  were  words  insulting  to 
the  Spanish  nation:  "...  M.  Ulloa,  loaded  with  our 

1768]        WORDS  ERASED  BY  AUBRY         205 

hatred,  which  he  has  so  justly  deserved.  Cannot  his  nation 
reproach  him  with  having  failed  in  the  rides  of  the  Span- 
ish policy,  which,  gentle  and  insinuating  in  the  beginning, 
becomes  tyrannical  only  when  the  yoke  has  been  im- 
posed? "  Aubry  had  these  words  erased,  and  caused  three 
hundred  copies  to  be  suppressed,  which  had  already  been 
printed  with  the  permission  of  Foucault. 


O'Reilly  in  Louisiana — The  Martyrs  of  the 
Revolution  of  1768 

Ulloa's  account  of  the  Revolution  of  1768— True  motive  of  the  opposition 
to  Ulloa — Return  of  Lesassier— The  republican  spirit  in  the  colony — 
General  O'Reilly's  arrival— O'Reilly  takes  possession— O'Reilly  asks  of 
Aubry  the  names  of  the  conspirators — Aubry  acts  as  informer — Aubry's 
account  of  Lafr£niere's  doings— Aubry's  account  of  the  Revolution — 
Aubry  names  the  conspirators — His  contemptible  letter — Arrest  of  the 
chiefs  of  the  Revolution — Death  of  Viller^ — Bossu's  account  of  Viller£'s 
death— Character  of  Viller6 — O'Reilly's  proclamation— O'Reilly's  address 
to  the  conspirators— The  property  of  the  prisoners  confiscated— The  in- 
habitants take  the  oath  of  allegiance— Aubry's  report  to  the  French  min- 
ister—His tragic  death—  Testimony  against  Foucault— He  is  released— Act 
of  accusation  against  the  prisoners— Part  taken  in  the  conspiracy  by  each 
of  the  prisoners — Sentence — The  execution — Burning  of  the  "Memorial 
of  the  Planters  and  Merchants" — No  excuse  for  O'Reilly's  cruelty — O'Reilly 
went  beyond  his  instructions — Release  of  Petit  and  other  prisoners  from 
Morro  Castle— Bienville  de  Noyan  at  Santo  Domingo — End  of  the  drama. 

NTONIO  DE  ULLOA  left  New 
Orleans  on  November  1,  1768,  ar- 
rived at  Havana  on  December  3, 
and  immediately  departed  for  Ca- 
diz. His  account  of  the  events 
leading  to  his  expulsion  from  Lou- 
isiana is  very  interesting.  He  re- 
lates that  the  conspirators  met  at  the  house  of  a 
widow  named  Pradel,  on  a  plantation  adjoining  New 
Orleans.  He  speaks  bitterly  of  Lafreniere,  and 
says  the  latter  was  the  author  of  the  celebrated  Me- 


nee]  ULLOA'S  NARRATIVE  207 

morial  of  the  inhabitants  on  the  event  of  October  29, 
1768.  He  speaks  of  a  journey  of  Bienville  and  Masan 
to  Pensacola  to  ask  aid  of  the  British  governor  in  erect- 
ing the  colony  into  a  republic  under  the  protection  of 
England.  He  declares  that  Villere  and  Lery,  relatives 
of  Lafreniere,  had  influenced  the  old  Chevalier  d'Arens- 
bourg,  commandant  at  the  German  Coast,  and  that  the 
latter  had  determined  to  defend  liberty  and  not  be  a  sub- 
ject of  the  King  of  Spain.  He  says  also  that  Lafreniere 
and  Foucault  took  advantage  of  the  discontent  caused  by 
the  decree  about  commerce  to  excite  the  merchants  against 
the  Spanish  domination. 

It  is  but  natural  that  Ulloa  should  have  wished  to  lay 
all  the  blame  for  the  Revolution  of  1768  on  the  people  of 
Louisiana;  but  he  certainly  mistook  their  motive  when  he 
attributed  their  opposition  to  him  to  discontent  caused  by 
commercial  decrees.  All  the  colonists  were  animated  by 
the  spirit  of  the  old  D'Arensbourg:  they  wished  to  defend 
liberty,  and  would  not  submit  to  a  foreign  yoke.  One  of 
their  delegates,  St.  Lette,  remained  in  France,  but  the 
other,  Lesassier,  returned  to  Louisiana  and  announced, 
as  Milhet  had  done  previously,  the  failure  of  his  mission. 
The  deputies,  however,  had  obtained,  says  Martin,  "  an 
arrest  of  the  King's  council  of  the  23d  of  March,  which 
is  believed  to  be  the  last  act  of  the  French  government 
concerning  Louisiana."  It  referred  to  the  payment  of 
the  bills  emitted  by  the  colonial  government. 

At  the  very  moment  of  Ulloa's  expulsion  the  Spanish 
government  seemed  inclined  to  take  possession  of  the 
colony  in  a  more  determined  manner,  and  Urissa,  who 

208  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [ires 

had  been  appointed  intendant  of  Louisiana,  had  arrived 
at  Havana  with  eight  hundred  soldiers  destined  for  the 
new  Spanish  colony,  and  was  to  carry  there  one  million 
dollars  for  the  King's  service.  Gayarre  believes  that  the 
Revolution  would  not  have  taken  place  if  Urissa  had 
reached  Louisiana  with  the  soldiers  and  the  million  of  the 
King  of  Spain.  We  do  not  share  this  opinion;  for,  as 
Louis  had  disowned  his  subjects  in  Louisiana,  the  die  was 
cast.  The  colonists  wished  no  longer  to  submit  to  any  des- 
pot, and  they  formed  the  plan  of  a  republic  on  the  banks 
of  the  Mississippi.  Gayarre  himself  has  said:  "  There 
is  no  doubt  that  the  colonists  would  have  eagerly  adopted 
this  form  of  government,  had  it  been  possible  at  the  time, 
for  it  must  be  recollected  that,  from  the  earliest  existence 
of  the  colony,  almost  all  its  governors  had  uniformly  com- 
plained of  the  republican  spirit  which  they  had  observed 
in  the  inhabitants."  Our  ancestors  were  evidently  mis- 
taken in  their  noble  efforts,  and  their  plan  was  but  a 
dream;  for  how  were  they  to  resist  the  power  of  the 
King  of  Spain,  with  a  population  of  fewer  than  twelve 
thousand  souls,  of  whom  half  were  slaves  ?  But  they  gave 
Louisiana  the  glory  of  having  thought  of  establishing  a 
republican  form  of  government  in  America  several  years 
before  Jefferson  wrote  his  immortal  Declaration  of  In- 
dependence, which  gave  birth  to  our  United  States. 

When  the  news  of  the  events  of  October,  1768,  reached 
Spain,  it  was  decided  by  the  Council  of  the  King  that 
the  authority  of  His  Catholic  Majesty  should  be  main- 
tained and  troops  be  sent  to  subdue  the  insurgents.  Don 
Alejandro  O'Reilly  was  appointed  governor  and  captain- 

1769]  O'REILLYS   ARRIVAL  209 

general  of  the  province,  and  he  arrived  at  the  Balize  on 
July  23,  on  a  frigate  accompanied  by  twenty-three  trans- 
ports, having  three  thousand  soldiers  on  board.1  O'Reilly 
sent  Don  Francisco  Bouligny  to  announce  his  arrival  to 
Aubry,  and  the  news  was  received  by  the  inhabitants  with 
consternation.  "  Resistance  was  spoken  of,"  says  Martin, 
but  it  was  finally  resolved  to  send  three  delegates  to 
O'Reilly;  they  were  Lafreniere,  Marquis,  and  Milhet. 
The  attorney-general,  the  valiant  Lafreniere,  spoke  to 
General  O'Reilly  with  great  dignity,  and  assured  him 
of  the  submission  of  the  colony  to  the  orders  of  the  Kings 
of  France  and  Spain.  He  added:  "  We  beg  your  Ex- 
cellency not  to  consider  it  a  country  to  be  conquered.  The 
orders  of  which  you  are  the  bearer  are  sufficient  to  put 
you  in  possession,  and  make  more  impression  on  hearts 
than  the  arms  which  you  have  in  your  hand.  .  .  .  The 
colony  claims  of  your  kindness  privileges,  and  of  your 
equity  sufficient  delays  for  those  who  shall  desire  to  emi- 
grate." 2  O'Reilly  replied  that  he  would  do  all  in  his 
power  to  learn  the  truth,  and  that  he  should  be  in  despair 
if  he  did  the  least  harm  to  any  one.  He  said  he  would 
have  gone  up  the  river  as  far  as  the  Illinois  to  have  the 
banner  of  his  King  respected,  and  he  asked  the  three  rep- 
resentatives of  the  colonists  how  they,  a  handful  of  men, 
could  have  believed  that  they  were  able  to  resist  one  of 
the  most  powerful  kings  in  Europe,  and  that  their  King 
could  have  listened  to  the  cries  of  a  seditious  people. 

At  the  word  "  seditious,"  Marquis  interrupted  the  gen- 
eral and  explained  the  conduct  of  the  colonists.  O'Reilly 
answered  him  with  gentleness,  and  said  he  would  listen 

210         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA 


to  them  with  pleasure  when  the  time  should  come.  He 
invited  them  to  take  dinner  with  him,  "  treated  them," 
says  Bouligny,  "  with  all  the  politeness  possible,  and  sent 
them  away  full  of  admiration  for  his  talents,  and  with 
good  hopes  for  the  oblivion  of  their  past  faults." 

Lafreniere,  Marquis,  and  Milhet  reported  O'Reilly's 
words  to  their  countrymen,  and  all  were  quieted.  The 
men  who  had  already  taken  up  arms  and  gone  to  New 
Orleans  returned  home,  and  several  persons  who  had  in- 
tended to  leave  the  colony  decided  to  remain. 

On  August  15,  1769,  Aubry  went  to  pay  his  respects 
to  O'Reilly  and  to  take  his  orders  with  regard  to  the 
ceremony  of  taking  possession  of  the  province.  In  the 
night  of  August  17,  the  frigate  on  board  of  which  was  the 
general  was  moored  at  the  quay  of  New  Orleans  with 
twenty-three  other  ships.  On  the  eighteenth,  at  noon, 
Aubry  caused  the  rally  to  be  beat,  and  the  French  troops 
and  the  militia  formed  on  one  side  of  the  public  square, 
facing  the  vessels.  At  half -past  five  the  frigate  fired  a 
salute,  General  O'Reilly  landed,  and  three  thousand  sol- 
diers marched  in  columns  from  the  ships  and  formed 
rapidly  on  the  other  three  sides  of  the  square.  Aubry 
placed  himself  at  the  head  of  his  troops,  in  the  presence 
of  all  the  inhabitants,  to  receive  the  general,  who  came 
to  him  and  asked  him  to  read  to  the  people  the  orders 
and  powers  which  he  had  communicated  to  the  French 
commandant.  The  latter  did  so,  and  delivered  the  fol- 
lowing address : 

Gentlemen:  You  have  just  heard  the  sacred  orders  of  their 
Majesties — Most    Christian    and    Catholic— with    regard    to    the 


province  of  Louisiana,  which  has  been  ceded  irrevocably  to  the 
Crown  of  Spain.  From  this  moment  you  are  the  subjects  of  His 
Catholic  Majesty,  and  in  virtue  of  the  orders  of  the  King,  my 
master,  I  release  you  from  the  oath  of  fidelity  which  you  owed  to 
His  Most  Christian  Majesty. 

Aubry  then  handed  to  O'Reilly  the  keys  of  the  gates 
of  New  Orleans,  and  immediately  volleys  were  fired  by 
the  Spanish  frigate  and  by  all  the  troops,  and  cries  of 
'  Vive  le  roi !  "  were  heard  on  all  sides.  The  posts  were  all 
relieved,  and  the  Spanish  flag  was  raised  at  each  one. 
;'  We  went  afterward  to  the  church,"  says  Aubry,  "  and 
after  having  attended  a  Te  Deum,  this  memorable  day 
and  august  ceremony  ended  with  the  march  of  all  the 
troops,  who  defiled  before  us  with  a  redoubtable  order 
and  pomp." 

On  August  19,  O'Reilly  went  with  his  staff  to  pay  his 
official  visit  to  the  French  commandant.  On  the  same 
day  he  wrote  him  a  letter  to  ask  of  him  an  account  of 
what  had  taken  place  in  the  colony  in  October,  1768,  and 
Aubry  had  the  weakness  or  the  cowardice  to  act  as  in- 
former against  his  own  countrymen.  It  was  not  neces- 
sary that  he  should  give  any  information  to  O'Reilly. 
As  soon  as  the  latter  had  taken  possession  of  Louisiana 
in  the  name  of  Spain,  Aubry's  duties  as  governor  ceased, 
and  he  should  have  tried  to  protect  men  whose  sole 
crime  was  that  they  had  made  earnest  efforts  to  remain 
Frenchmen.  Posterity  must  certainly  judge  Aubry  very 
severely  for  his  conduct  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution  of 
1768,  and  until  his  departure  from  Louisiana  in  1769. 
Already,  on  February  15,  1769,  he  had  written  to  the 
Captain-General  of  Cuba:  "  I  hope  that  M.  d'Ulloa  ren- 

212  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [n<» 

ders  me  justice,  and  that  he  will  have  given  a  good  testi- 
mony of  my  conduct;  for  no  one  more  than  I  venerates 
and  loves  the  Spanish  nation.  This  revolution  dishonors 
the  French  people  of  Louisiana." 

In  his  letter  to  Aubry  asking  for  information,  O'Reilly 

It  is  very  essential  that  I  should  know  the  person  who  wrote 
and  printed,  and  with  what  authority  were  printed  and  spread 
among  the  public,  the  document  bearing  the  title :  "  Decree 
of  the  Council,"  dated  October  29,  1768,  and  the  other  bear- 
ing the  title :  "  Memorial  of  the  Inhabitants  of  Louisiana  on 
the  event  of  October  29,  1768,"  as  all  the  clauses  of  the  two 
documents  require  my  attention.  I  have  entire  confidence  in  your 
information,  and  I  beg  you  again  to  omit  no  circumstance  about 
the  men  and  the  things  concerning  this  conspiracy. 

On  August  20,  1769,3  Aubry  answered  O'Reilly's  let- 
ter and  gave  him  a  full  account  of  the  events  of  October, 
1768.  He  named  as  the  chiefs  of  "  this  criminal  enter- 
prise": Masan,  Lafreniere,  Marquis,  Noyan,  Bienville, 
and  Villere,  "  all  the  wealthiest  and  most  distinguished 
in  the  country."  He  said  that  Foucault  was  very  guilty, 
and  that  he  led  the  people  to  believe  that,  in  the  colonies, 
the  governors  from  Spain  were  tyrants  and  the  people 
slaves.  Aubry  said  further:  "  The  hatred  generally  felt 
against  M.  Ulloa,  and  the  copy  of  a  decree  of  His 
Catholic  Majesty,  which  deprives  this  colony  of  the  com- 
merce of  the  French  islands,  have  been  in  great  part  the 
cause  of  the  revolt.  The  planters  feared  they  would  not 
be  able  any  longer  to  sell  their  indigo  or  their  lumber; 
the  merchants  foresaw  the  fall  of  their  commerce;  the 

1769]  AUBRY  AN  INFORMER  213 

Council  feared  to  be  suppressed;  all  together  leagued 
themselves  to  send  away  the  governor,  and  to  free  them- 
selves from  the  Spanish  domination." 

Aubry  added  that  the  secret  of  the  conspiracy  was  so 
well  kept  that  he  sent  for  M.  de  Lafreniere,  who  told 
him  that  a  request,  addressed  to  M.  Foucault,  had  been 
signed,  asking  him  to  call  an  extraordinary  meeting  of 
the  Council,  in  order  to  send  away  M.  d'Ulloa  and  the 
Spaniards  who  had  accompanied  him.  Lafreniere  added 
that  everybody  was  taking  up  arms,  and  that  a  banner 
was  to  be  raised  in  the  public  square  at  New  Orleans. 
Aubry  told  Lafreniere  that  he  should  oppose  the  move- 
ment, and  that  much  blood  would  be  spilled.  He  sent 
Judice,  commandant  of  the  Acadians,  to  order  the  latter 
not  to  take  up  arms,  under  penalty  of  being  treated  as 
rebels;  and  he  asked  Foucault  what  he  intended  to  do. 
The  commissary  replied  with  ambiguity,  and  Aubry 
told  him  that  he  would  be  utterly  lost  if  he  did  not  oppose 
such  a  rebellion.  On  October  27,  Governor  Ulloa  said 
that,  as  he  had  not  sufficient  force,  he  would  submit  to 
the  decision  of  the  Council,  in  order  to  avoid  the  effusion 
of  French  and  Spanish  blood.  Aubry  sent  for  Lafre- 
niere and  several  militia  officers,  and  they  promised  that 
everything  would  be  countermanded  and  that  only  depu- 
ties from  each  organization  should  appear  before  the 
Council.  On  October  28,  "  I  heard,"  said  Aubry,  "  that 
the  cannon  which  were  at  the  Tchoupitoulas  gate  had  been 
spiked,  from  fear  that  I  should  fire  on  the  planters  who 
were  to  come  from  that  side.  On  the  same  day  I  called 
M.  de  Lafreniere  to  my  house;  I  represented  to  him  that 

214,         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [k» 

he  would  have  to  reproach  himself  for  the  ruin  of  his 
country  I  told  him,  at  the  same  time,  that  chiefs  of  con- 
spiracies had  always  had  tragic  ends." 

In  the  evening  of  October  28,  in  spite  of  Aubry's 
orders,  Villere  entered  the  city  at  the  head  of  four  hun- 
dren  Germans,  Acadians,  and  other  militiamen;  the 
militia  below  New  Orleans  entered  also,  and  everything 
was  in  commotion.  Aubry  then  advised  Ulloa  to  retire 
with  his  wife,  that  same  evening,  on  board  the  Spanish 
frigate.  On  October  29  nearly  a  thousand  persons  as- 
sembled in  the  public  square,  with  a  white  banner,  crying, 
"Vive  le  roi  de  France!"  and  wishing  no  other  king. 
Aubry  went  to  the  meeting  of  the  Council  and  protested 
against  the  order  of  expulsion  of  Ulloa.  Marquis,  with 
fifty  militiamen,  had  decided  to  accompany  Ulloa  to 
the  Balize,  and  to  stay  there  to  oppose  all  Spaniards  who 
might  come.  Aubry  ordered  them  to  desist  from  their 
undertaking,  or  he  would  fire  upon  them,  and  he  was 
obeyed  "  for  the  first  time,"  says  he,  "  since  the  revolt." 

"  A  thousand  mad  projects,"  continued  Aubry,  "  suc- 
ceeded one  another;  there  was  a  design  of  erecting  this 
country  into  a  republic;  a  petition  was  presented  to  the 
Council  to  establish  a  bank  like  those  of  Amsterdam  and 
Venice,  for  these  are  the  identical  terms  which  they  used. 
M.  de  Lafreniere  is  the  author  of  the  petition.  The  Sieur 
Doucet  composed  the  Memorial  of  the  planters."  Aubry, 
then,  in  his  letter,  spoke  severely  of  Marquis,  Villere,  and 
Masan,  and  said  that  by  most  audacious  writings  and 
most  rebellious  talk  the  conspirators  had  resorted  to  every 
means  to  excite  the  people  and  give  them  a  horror  of  the 

1769]  DEATH  OF  VILLERE  215 

Spanish  government.  He  concluded  his  letter  with  these 
words:  "  I  shall  communicate  to  your  Excellency  the 
decrees,  the  memorials,  and  all  the  documents  of  iniqui- 
ties which  were  fabricated  in  those  times  of  confusion  and 
disorder.  I  shall  deliver  the  protests  which  I  have  made 
against  these  acts  of  injustice.  My  conduct  will  be  laid 
before  the  judge  the  most  equitable  and  the  most  en- 
lightened. His  approval,  which  I  dare  flatter  myself  I 
have  merited,  will  be  the  greatest  honor  and  the  finest 
recompense  that  I  shall  ever  be  able  to  receive."  It  was 
impossible  to  write  anything  more  contemptible,  more 
cringing,  more  cowardly  than  the  letter  of  Aubry  to 

On  August  21,  1769,  O'Reilly  caused  to  be  arrested 
Lafreniere,  Noyan,  and  Boisblanc,  members  of  the  Coun- 
cil, and  Braud,  the  printer,  while  these  gentlemen  were 
attending  a  reception  at  the  governor's  house.4  Shortly 
afterward  he  arrested  also  Marquis,  a  former  officer; 
Doucet,  a  lawyer;  Petit  and  Masan,  planters;  Carresse, 
Poupet,  and  Jean  and  Joseph  Milhet,  all  four  merchants. 
Joseph  Villere,  whom  O'Reilly  wished  also  to  arrest,  was 
on  his  plantation  on  the  German  Coast,  and  was  about 
to  go  to  the  English  possessions,  when  he  received  a  letter 
from  Aubry  saying  that  he  had  nothing  to  fear  from 
O'Reilly,  and  that  he  could  come  to  New  Orleans  in  per- 
fect safety.  Bossu,  who  was  a  contemporary  of  Villere, 
describes  the  latter 's  death  in  the  following  manner:  "  M. 
de  Villere,  confiding  in  this  assurance,  descended  the  river 
to  go  to  New  Orleans.  What  was  his  surprise  when,  on 
presenting  himself  at  the  barriers,  he  found  himself  ar- 


216         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA 


rested!  Sensitive  to  this  outrage,  he  could  not  moderate 
his  indignation.  In  a  first  transport,  he  struck  the  Span- 
ish officer  who  commanded  the  post.  The  latter's  soldiers 
threw  themselves  upon  him,  and  pierced  him  with  bayo- 
nets. He  was  carried  on  board  a  frigate  that  was  in  the 
port,  where  he  died  a  few  days  afterward." 

Judge  Martin  gives  a  different  account  of  Villere's 
death.  He  says,  like  Bossu,  that  Villere  received  a  letter 
from  Aubry  reassuring  him  and  advising  him  to  return 
to  the  city.  On  arriving  at  the  gate,  he  was  arrested  and 
sent  on  board  a  frigate  in  the  river.  His  wife  approached 
the  frigate  in  a  boat,  and  was  ordered  away.  "  She  made 
herself  known,  and  solicited  admission  to  her  husband, 
but  was  answered  that  she  could  not  see  him,  as  the  cap- 
tain was  on  shore,  and  had  left  orders  that  no  communi- 
cation should  be  allowed  with  the  prisoner.  Villere  rec- 
ognized his  wife's  voice,  and  insisted  on  being  permitted 
to  see  her.  On  this  being  refused,  a  struggle  ensued,  in 
which  he  fell,  pierced  by  the  bayonets  of  his  guards.  His 
bloody  shirt,  thrown  into  the  boat,  announced  to  the  lady 
that  she  had  ceased  to  be  a  wife;  and  a  sailor  cut  the 
rope  that  fastened  the  boat  to  the  frigate." 

Martin's  narrative  is  very  dramatic,  but  Bossu's  ac- 
count is  more  likely  to  be  the  true  one.  Champigny, 
also  a  contemporary  of  Villere,  gives  about  the  same  ac- 
count as  Bossu,  and  adds: 5  "  None  could  be  braver  than 
Villere.  Canadian  by  origin,  he  had  everything:  valor, 
fortitude,  and  freedom  of  mind;  violent  and  fiery,  but 
frank,  loyal,  and  firm  in  his  resolves.  He  was  of  good 
size,  well  made,  his  step  firm,  his  look  bold  and  martial, 
his  devotion  to  his  King  rather  a  frenzy  than  a  form  of 

1769]         O'REILLY'S   PROCLAMATION         217 

patriotism.  Had  all  the  colonists  thought  as  he  did,  had 
they  had  his  firm  resolve,  I  douht  whether  a  single  Span- 
iard would  ever  have  reached  New  Orleans.  He  had  a 
genius  for  war,  and  was  the  chief  elect  of  the  Acadians 
and  Germans  in  case  of  a  rupture,  and  under  his  orders 
that  hrave  hody  would  have  been  invincible.  I  regret  to 
leave  a  man  of  this  mold;  French  patriots  must  strew 
laurels  over  his  grave."  The  son  of  this  heroic  man  be- 
came the  second  American  governor  of  Louisiana. 

On  the  day  of  arrest  of  the  chiefs  of  the  Revolution 
of  1768,  O'Reilly  issued  the  following  proclamation:6 

In  the  name  of  the  King. — Don  Alejandro  O'Reilly,  Com- 
mander of  Benfayan  in  the  Order  of  Alcantara,  Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral  and  Inspector-General  of  the  armies  of  His  Catholic  Majesty, 
Captain-General  and  Governor  of  the  province  of  Louisiana. 

By  virtue  of  the  orders  and  powers  which  we  possess  from 
His  Majesty,  we  declare  to  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  province  of 
Louisiana  that,  whatever  just  cause  the  past  events  may  have 
given  His  Catholic  Majesty  to  make  them  feel  his  indignation, 
he  wishes  to  listen  to-day  only  to  his  clemency  toward  the  public, 
persuaded  that  it  has  sinned  only  by  allowing  itself  to  be  led 
astray  by  the  intrigues  of  a  few  ambitious  and  fanatic  men,  of 
evil  intent,  who  have  rashly  abused  its  ignorance  and  its  too  great 
credulity.  The  latter  alone  will  answer  for  their  crimes,  and  will 
be  judged  according  to  the  laws. 

An  act  so  generous  should  assure  His  Majesty  that  his  new  sub- 
jects will  endeavor  to  merit,  by  their  fidelity,  zeal,  and  obedience, 
the  favor  which  he  does  to  them  and  the  protection  which  he  grants 
them  from  this  moment. 

This  proclamation  was  posted  and  published  through- 
out the  city,  to  the  sound  of  drums  and  other  instruments, 
accompanied  by  all  the  grenadiers.    It  allayed  the  general 

218  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [n* 

fear,  as  it  showed  that  the  vengeance  of  the  Spaniards 
would  he  satisfied  with  the  punishment  of  the  men  who 
had  been  arrested. 

Aubry's  account  of  the  arrest  is  interesting.7  He  says 
that  on  August  21,  at  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning,  the 
general  communicated  to  him,  for  the  first  time,  the  or- 
ders of  the  King  to  have  arrested  and  judged,  according 
to  the  laws,  the  chiefs  of  the  conspiracy.  O'Reilly  caused 
them  all  to  assemble  at  his  house,  under  different  pre- 
texts, and  in  Aubry's  presence  spoke  to  them  as  follows : 

Gentlemen  :  The  Spanish  nation  is  revered  and  respected  by 
the  whole  earth.  Louisiana  is  then  the  only  country  where  it  is 
ignored,  and  where  there  is  a  lack  of  the  regard  due  to  it.  His 
Catholic  Majesty  is  greatly  offended  at  the  violence  which  was 
used  and  at  the  outrage  committed  against  his  governor,  his 
officers,  and  his  troops.  He  has  been  very  much  offended  at  the 
writings  which  were  published,  and  which  outrage  his  government 
and  the  Spanish  nation.  He  orders  me  to  have  arrested  and 
judged,  according  to  the  laws,  the  authors  of  all  these  violences. 

After  reading  the  orders  referred  to,  O'Reilly  added : 

Gentlemen  :  You  are  accused  of  being  the  chiefs  of  this  revolt. 
I  arrest  you  in  the  name  of  the  King.  I  trust  that  you  will  be  able 
to  prove  your  innocence,  and  that  I  shall  soon  be  able  to  return  to 
you  the  swords  which  I  have  just  taken  away  from  you.  You 
will  produce  your  defense  before  the  equitable  judges  who  are 
before  you.    It  is  they  who  will  judge  you. 

The  general  said  also  that  their  property  would  be 
confiscated  according  to  the  custom  in  Spain;  but  he 
promised  the  prisoners  to  give  to  their  wives  and  children 

1769]  DEATH  OF  AUBRY  219 

all  the  aid  they  might  need.  Lafreniere  and  his  compa- 
nions were  then  taken  hy  several  officers  and  a  detach- 
ment of  grenadiers  to  the  places  where  they  were  to  be 
kept,  some  to  the  barracks  and  others  to  the  Spanish  ships. 

On  August  26  the  principal  inhabitants  of  the  city  and 
of  the  country  took  the  oath  of  allegiance  to  the  King  of 
Spain,  before  O'Reilly.  He  told  them,  according  to  Au- 
bry,  that  they  were  free  to  take  the  oath  or  not,  and  that 
he  would  give  them  all  the  time  and  facilities  necessary 
to  settle  their  affairs  and  retire  to  their  country.  Such  a 
permission,  under  the  circumstances,  was  derisive,  and 
every  one  must  have  understood  the  risk  he  would  run 
were  he  to  attempt  to  leave  a  Spanish  province  of  which 
possession  had  been  taken  with  such  a  display  of  force. 

Aubry,  by  order  of  O'Reilly,  arrested  Foucault,  and 
on  September  1  gave  to  the  French  minister  in  Paris  an 
account  of  what  had  taken  place  in  the  colony  after 
O'Reilly's  arrival.  He  is  not  ashamed  to  say  that  he  gave 
the  Spanish  governor  the  names  of  the  principal  authors 
of  the  events  of  1768,  and  he  praises  "  the  generosity  and 
the  kindness  "  of  O'Reilly  in  having  caused  such  a  small 
number  of  men  to  be  arrested,  while  there  were  many 
others  whose  criminal  conduct  should  have  exposed  them 
to  the  same  fate.  He  adds  that  the  new  Spanish  governor 
"  will  make  the  happiness  of  the  colony."  Aubry  was 
crazy,  or  he  was  the  most  contemptible  of  men.  The  peo- 
ple of  Louisiana  have  accepted  the  latter  opinion,  and  his 
tragic  end  has  excited  no  pity.  He  left  the  colony  on 
November  23,  1769,  on  board  the  Pere  de  Famille,  and 
perished  in  the  wreck  of  that  ship  at  the  mouth  of  the 

220  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [nes* 

Gironde  on  February  17,  1770.  According  to  a  certifi- 
cate of  Cabaret  de  Trepis,  captain  of  infantry  in  Loui- 
siana (reproduced  in  facsimile  by  Dr.  G.  Devron,  in 
"  Comptes  Rendus  de  l'Athenee  Louisianais,"  July, 
1897),  Aubry  left  the  colony  with  two  boxes  filled  with 
silver,  containing  each  ten  thousand  livres  at  least ;  a  bag 
containing  also  an  amount  of  money  which  Trepis  does 
not  know;  and  a  purse  full  of  gold, — fifteen  to  sixteen 
hundred  livres.  Champigny  accuses  Aubry  of  having  re- 
ceived from  O'Reilly  twelve  thousand  Spanish  ecus  and  a 
life  pension  as  the  price  of  his  infamy.  Whether  this 
assertion  is  true  or  not,  the  name  of  the  man  who  was 
Ulloa's  sycophant  and  O'Reilly's  informer  will  ever  be 
held  in  contempt  by  all  brave  and  loyal  men. 

We  have  seen  that  Foucault  was  arrested  by  Aubry 
as  ordered  by  O'Reilly.  The  testimony  of  Garic,  former 
clerk  of  the  Superior  Council,  was  very  damaging  to  the 
commissary.  Garic  said  that  Foucault  called  a  meeting 
of  the  Council  for  October  28,  1768,  at  which  meeting 
the  only  persons  present  were  Foucault,  De  Kernion,  De 
Launay,  De  Laplace,  Lafreniere,  Garderat,  assistant 
clerk,  and  Garic  himself.  Business  of  little  importance 
was  transacted,  then  the  petition  of  the  planters  and  mer- 
chants was  presented  and  referred  to  a  committee,  com- 
posed of  De  Kernion  and  De  Launay,  who  were  to  ex- 
amine the  petition  and  make  report  to  the  Council  the 
next  day.  The  attorney-general,  Lafreniere,  said  that 
acting  councilors  should  be  named  to  take  the  place  of 
those  who  were  absent  on  account  of  sickness.  Foucault, 
then,  together  with  Lafreniere,  proposed  the  names  of 

i76<.]  RELEASE   OF   FOUCAULT  221 

Hardy  de  Boisblanc,  Thomassin,  Fleuriau,  Bobe,  Du- 
cros,  and  De  Labarre.  The  Council  met  on  October  29, 
and  the  decree  against  Ulloa  was  rendered.  Garic  added 
that  Foncault  invited  them  all  to  a  dinner,  which  lasted 
from  two  o'clock  till  five,  and  that,  on  the  instigation  of 
Noyan  and  some  others,  the  party  at  Foucault's  house, 
with  the  exception  of  De  Lalande  d'Apremont  and  De 
Kernion,  went  to  the  barracks,  where  were  assembled  the 
planters  and  merchants,  and  afterward  to  Aubry's  house, 
where  Foucault  and  Laf  reniere  spoke  to  the  French  com- 
mandant and  asked  him  to  take  the  reins  of  government. 
In  spite  of  Aubry's  accusations  and  of  Garic's  testimony, 
Foucault  declared  that  he  acted  as  an  officer  of  the  King 
of  France  and  was  accountable  only  to  that  monarch  for 
his  actions.  He  was  sent  to  France,  where  he  was  at  first 
thrown  into  the  Bastille,  but  afterward  released  and  re- 
ceived an  office  in  the  East  Indies.  Braud  argued  that, 
being  the  official  printer,  he  was  bound  to  print  whatever 
Foucault,  the  commissaire  ordonnatcur ',  ordered  him.  He 
was  discharged. 

The  accusation  against  the  prisoners  was  presented  by 
Don  Felix  del  Rey,  and  related  all  the  circumstances 
leading  to  Ulloa's  expulsion.  It  laid  stress  on  the  out- 
rage against  the  royal  authority  by  the  fact  that  the  com- 
missary, Loyola;  the  contador,  Gayarre;  and  the  trea- 
surer, Navarro,  were  held  as  hostages  to  guarantee  the 
debts  contracted  in  the  name  of  the  court  of  Spain.  "  The 
prosecution,"  says  Judge  Martin,  "  was  grounded  on  a 
statute  of  Alfonso  the  Eleventh,  which  is  the  first  law  of 
the  seventh  title  of  the  first  partida,  and  denounces  the 

222         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [i7<» 

punishment  of  death  and  confiscation  of  property  against 
those  who  excite  any  insurrection  against  the  King  or 
state,  or  take  up  arms  under  pretense  of  extending  their 
liberty  or  rights,  and  against  those  who  give  them  any 

The  act  of  accusation  gives  in  detail  the  part  taken  in 
the  conspiracy  by  each  of  the  prisoners.8  It  says  that 
Lafreniere  and  Foucault  were  the  principal  chiefs,  and 
that  Marquis  was  the  military  commander  of  the  insur- 
gents ;  that  he  had  been  one  of  the  most  ardent  to  solicit 
the  departure  of  the  Spanish  frigate,  as  she  represented  on 
the  river  the  odious  Spanish  domination;  that  he  had 
formed  the  project  of  establishing  a  republic  in  Louisi- 
ana, which  should  be  governed  by  a  council  of  forty  mem- 
bers and  a  protector,  elected  by  the  people.  Noyan  was 
accused  of  attending  the  meetings  that  preceded  the  in- 
surrection, and  of  having  expressed  openly  his  desire  to 
see  Ulloa  chased  from  the  colony.  It  was  he  who  had  the 
staff  for  the  French  banner  made  on  his  plantation,  and 
he  excited  the  Acadians  to  revolt.  He  waited  for  them 
at  the  Tchoupitoulas  gate,  on  the  eve  of  the  insurrection, 
and  provided  them  with  provisions  and  arms.  Carresse 
drew  up  the  petition  of  the  inhabitants  to  the  Council  and, 
with  Marquis  and  Masan,  presented  it  to  Foucault.  He 
furnished  food  to  the  revolted  Acadians;  he  presented 
himself  with  a  band  of  insurgents  at  the  door  of  the 
Council  to  prevent  the  councilors  from  leaving  the  room 
before  having  given  an  opinion  favorable  to  the  petition 
of  the  rebels ;  he  went  with  other  accomplices  to  the  coun- 
cil-chamber to  know  what  had  been  the  decision  of  the 

1769]  ACT   OF  ACCUSATION  223 

Council;  he  embarked  in  a  boat,  as  an  officer  of  the  militia, 
to  follow  Don  Antonio  <le  Ulloa  and  occupy  the  fort  at 
the  Balize.   He  was  one  of  those  who  formed  the  project 
of  a  bank  to  be  called  Mont  de  Piete;  he  furnished  Dou- 
cet  with  materials  to  write  the  outrageous  "  Memorial  of 
the  Planters  and  Merchants  " ;  he  wrote  to  Laf  reniere : 
'  This  day  will  be  the  most  beautiful  in  your  life;  we  hope 
to  see  revive  in  Louisiana  the  orator  of  Rome  and  M.  de 
Meaupou  to  uphold  the  rights  of  the  nation."     Joseph 
Milhet  caused  the  petition  to  the  Council  to  be  signed, 
and  he  presented  himself  as  officer  of  a  company  of  mili- 
tia that  had  taken  up  arms  to  support  the  rebellion.    He 
was  one  of  those  who  went  to  the  Chapitoulas  (Tchoupi- 
toulas)  gate  to  receive  the  Acadians,  and  he  allowed  the 
arms  of  some  of  the  insurgents  to  be  deposited  at  his 
house.    With  regard  to  the  other  insurgents,  it  is  said  that 
Petit  himself  untied  the  rope  that  held  to  the  shore  the  ship 
in  which  Ulloa  was  expelled.    Doucet  was  the  author  of 
that  "  most  insolent  and  outrageous  manifesto,"  the  "  Me- 
morial of  the  Planters  and  Merchants."    Poupet  was  the 
treasurer  of  the  rebels,  and  took  up  arms  with  the  insur- 
gents.   Jean  Milhet  also  took  up  arms.    Masan  was  one 
of  the  promoters  of  the  insurrection  and  was  second  to 
sign  the  petition  to  the  Council.    He  was  one  of  those  who 
handed  it  to  Foucault.    Several  seditious  assemblies  were 
held  in  his  house;  and  an  aggravating  circumstance  was, 
that  he  was  one  of  the  most  highly  esteemed  and  popular 
inhabitants,  on  account  of  his  birth,  his  wealth,  and  the 
cross  of  St.  Louis  with  which  he  was  decorated.     There 
is  no  doubt  that  his  example  was  a  powerful  incentive  to 

224  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [no 

animate  the  people  and  induce  them  to  share  in  the  crime. 
Hardy  de  Boisblanc  was  one  of  the  extraordinary  acting 
councilors  named  by  Foucault  and  Laf  reniere,  and  he  car- 
ried to  the  Council,  in  his  pocket,  his  written  opinion,  and 
maintained  it  vigorously.  It  was  he  who  conducted  the 
establishment  of  the  Mont  de  Piete.  Villere,  who  was 
dead,  was  not  omitted  in  the  act  of  persecution.  He  was 
said  to  have  caused  the  insurrection  of  the  Germans,  of 
whom  he  was  the  captain,  and  to  have  captured  at  the 
German  Coast  part  of  the  money  sent  by  Ulloa  in  pay- 
ment for  grain  that  the  Germans  had  consumed  in  the  ser- 
vice of  the  King  of  Spain,  wishing  in  this  way  to  prevent 
the  Germans  and  Acadians,  who  had  already  risen,  to 
return  to  their  duty. 

The  prisoners  denied  the  jurisdiction  of  O'Reilly's 
court,  and  argued  that  they  had  committed  no  act  of  in- 
subordination against  Spain,  as  Ulloa  had  not  exhibited 
bis  credentials  and  had  not  taken  possession  in  the  name 
of  the  King  of  Spain.  The  tribunal,  however,  con- 
demned Joseph  Petit  to  imprisonment  for  life,  Balthazar 
Masan  and  Julien  Jerome  Doucet  to  imprisonment  for 
ten  years,  and  Pierre  Hardy  de  Boisblanc,  Jean  Milhet, 
and  Pierre  Poupet  to  imprisonment  for  six  years.  They 
were  all  taken  to  Havana  and  placed  in  Morro  Castle. 
Nicolas  Chauvin  de  Laf  reniere;  Jean-Baptiste  Noyan, 
his  son-in-law;  Pierre  Carresse;  Pierre  Marquis;  and  Jo- 
seph Milhet  were  condemned,  "  as  chiefs  and  principal 
promoters  of  the  conspiracy,"  to  the  ordinary  punishment 
of  the  gallows  (as  is  required  by  the  infamy  which  they 
have  incurred,  ipso  jure,  by  their  participation  in  a  crime 

1769]  THE  EXECUTION  225 

so  horrible),  to  be  led  to  the  gallows  on  asses,  with  the 
rope  around  their  neck,  to  be  hanged  until  death  shall 
follow,  and  to  remain  hanging  until  I  [O'Reilly]  decide 
otherwise."  9 

Joseph  Villere's  memory  was  condemned  as  infamous; 
all  the  copies  of  the  celebrated  "  Memorial  of  the  Planters 
and  Merchants  of  Louisiana  on  the  event  of  October  29, 
1768,"  and  other  papers  relative  to  the  conspiracy,  were 
ordered  to  be  burned  by  the  hand  of  the  public  execu- 
tioner; and  the  property  of  each  of  the  accused  was  or- 
dered confiscated  for  the  benefit  of  the  Crown.  The 
judgment  was  rendered  on  October  24,  and  on  October 
25,  1769,  the  five  condemned  men  were  executed  in  the 
square  of  the  barracks  of  the  Lisbon  regiment,  which  were 
on  the  upper  side  of  the  convent  of  the  Ursulines,  on 
Chartres  Street.  In  the  archives  of  the  sisters  mention 
is  made  of  the  fact  that  the  nuns  heard  distinctly  the  firing 
of  the  rifles  that  put  an  end  to  the  noble  lives  of  Lafre- 
niere,  Joseph  Milhet,  Noyan,  Marquis,  and  Carresse.10 
These  heroic  men  were  shot  by  Spanish  soldiers,  as  there 
was  no  hangman  in  the  colony.  Lafreniere  and  his  com- 
panions died  with  the  greatest  courage,  and  have  left 
names  that  will  be  honored  in  Louisiana  to  the  end  of 
time,  together  with  those  of  Villere  and  the  unfortunate 
prisoners  of  Morro  Castle. 

The  following  is  the  report  of  the  execution,  certified 
by  the  clerk  of  the  expedition:  " 

In  the  execution  of  what  was  ordered  by  the  definitive  sentence 
which  it  has  pleased  his  Excellency  Don  Alejandro  O'Reilly,  Com- 

226  A    HISTORY    OF    LOUISIANA  [itm 

mandcr  of  Benfayan  of  the  Order  of  Alcantara,  Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral  and  Inspector-General  of  the  armies  of  His  Majesty,  his  Gov- 
ernor and  Captain-General  of  this  province  of  Louisiana,  etc., 
pronounced  on  the  24th  instant,  I  certify  that,  being  at  this  hour, 
to  wit,  at  about  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  at  the  barracks  of 
the  Lisbon  regiment,  where  were  in  prison  for  this  cause  Nicolas 
Chauvin  Lafreniere,  Pierre  Marquis,  Joseph  Milhet,  Jean-Bap- 
tiste  Noyan,  and  Pierre  Carresse,  all  of  the  French  nation,  they 
were  taken  out  of  the  prison  where  they  were  and  led  under  good 
and  sure  guard  of  officers  and  grenadiers,  bound  by  the  arms, 
to  the  place  of  execution,  for  the  fulfilment  of  the  above-men- 
tioned sentence  of  death  pronounced  against  them;  where  was  a 
large  number  of  troops  which  formed  a  square.  And,  having  ad- 
vanced to  the  place  where  were  the  culprits,  I  read  in  substance 
the  above-mentioned  sentence  to  make  known  publicly  how  well- 
founded  was  the  justice  which  the  King  our  sovereign,  and  in 
his  name  his  Excellency,  caused  to  be  executed  on  these  persons 
as  principal  chiefs  and  authors  of  the  conspiracy  which  broke 
out  in  this  colony,  on  the  29th  of  October  of  last  year,  1768, 
against  the  authority  and  the  government  of  the  sovereign ;  which 
reading  was  repeated  in  the  French  language  by  the  Sieur  Henry 
Garderat,  assisted  by  the  clerk  of  court,  the  Sieur  Jean-Baptiste 
Garic,  named  by  his  Excellency,  and  for  greater  solemnity  by  the 
lieutenant  of  artillerj'  Don  Juan  Kely,  one  of  the  interpreters 
named  by  his  Excellency;  that,  in  accordance  with  the  order  of 
his  Excellency,  the  sentence  was  published  in  a  loud  voice  by  the 
public  crier  of  this  city ;  that  soon  afterward  the  culprits,  having 
been  placed  at  the  spot  where  they  were  to  suffer  the  death 
penalty,  were  shot;  that  having  approached  immediately  after- 
ward the  place  above-mentioned,  I  recognized  that  the  said  five 
culprits  had  received  different  wounds  in  the  head  and  in  the  body, 
that  they  were  without  movement  and  absolutely  deprived  of  life. 
At  New  Orleans,  October  25,  1769,  in  testimony  of  the  truth : 
Francois  Xavier  Rodriguez,  Clerk  of  the  Expedition. 

1769]  O'REILLY'S   CRUELTY  227 

On  October  20,  Rodriguez  certifies  that,  on  that  day, 
at  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon,  he  caused  to  be  burned 
in  the  public  square  the  "  Memorial  of  the  Planters  and 
Merchants,"  and  other  papers  relating  to  the  same  affair. 
The  clerk  says  he  remained  at  the  place  until  all  the 
papers  were  reduced  to  ashes. 

The  following  lines  from  Judge  Martin's  History  of 
Louisiana  are  very  significant  when  we  consider  the  ju- 
dicial and  impartial  mind  of  the  author: 

Posterity,  the  judge  of  men  in  power,  will  doom  this  act  to 
public  execration.  No  necessity  demanded,  no  policy  justified  it. 
Ulloa's  conduct  had  provoked  the  measures  to  which  the  inhabi- 
tants had  resorted.  During  nearly  two  years,  he  had  haunted 
the  province  as  a  phantom  of  dubious  authority.  The  efforts  of 
the  colonists  to  prevent  the  transfer  of  their  natal  soil  to  a  foreign 
prince  originated  in  their  attachment  to  their  own,  and  the  Catholic 
King  ought  to  have  beheld  in  their  conduct  a  pledge  of  their  fu- 
ture devotion  to  himself.  They  had  but  lately  seen  their  country 
severed  and  a  part  of  it  added  to  the  dominion  of  Great  Britain ; 
they  had  bewailed  their  separation  from  their  friends  and  kindred ; 
and  were  afterward  to  be  alienated,  without  their  consent,  and 
subjected  to  a  foreign  yoke.  If  the  indiscretion  of  a  few  needed 
an  apology,  the  common  misfortune  afforded  it. 

Judge  Martin  is  right:  nothing  can  excuse  O'Reilly's 
cruelty.  Spain  was  powerful  enough  to  be  generous,  and 
Charles  III  would  have  pardoned  men  whose  only  crime 
was  to  have  loved  liberty  and  France,  whence  had  come 
Philip  V  and  Vendome,  the  victor  of  Villaviciosa.  There 
is  surely  no  nobler  page  in  any  history  than  that  which  is 
presented  to  us  by  the  "  Martyrs  of  Louisiana." 

228  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [1771 

Gayarre  quotes  in  his  History  a  letter  of  the  Marquis 
de  Grimaldi,  one  of  the  ministers  of  Charles  III,  to  the 
Count  de  Fuentes,  Spanish  ambassador  to  France,  by 
which  we  see  that  O'Reilly  went  beyond  his  instructions 
when  he  caused  Lafreniere  and  his  companions  to  be  exe- 
cuted.   Grimaldi  says: 

The  instruction  that  was  given  to  him  [O'Reilly]  was,  that 
after  taking  in  that  port  [Havana]  the  infantry  battalions,  the 
ammunition,  and  the  other  things  which  he  should  judge  necessary, 
he  should  go  to  the  colony,  and  that,  after  taking  possession  of 
it  in  the  name  of  His  Majesty,  he  should  institute  proceedings 
and  punish,  according  to  the  laws,  the  chiefs  of  the  insurrection, 
by  sending  away  from  the  colony  all  the  persons  and  families 
who  might  disturb  its  tranquillity.  ...  It  appeared  proper  to 
give  M.  O'Reilly  such  extensive  instructions,  on  account  of  the 
distance  of  the  country.  But  as  the  King,  whose  character  is 
well  known,  is  always  inclined  to  gentleness  and  clemency,  he 
ordered  that  M.  O'Reilly  be  informed  that  it  would  be  agreeable 
to  the  will  of  His  Majesty  that  he  should  act  with  the  greatest 
mildness,  and  be  contented  with  expelling  from  the  colony  those 
who  should  deserve  a  greater  punishment.12 

Petit,  Jean  Milhet,  Poupet,  Masan,  Doucet,  and 
Hardy  de  Boisblanc,  who  had  been  condemned  to  im- 
prisonment in  Morro  Castle,  Havana,  were  liberated  in 
1771  by  the  intercession  of  the  French  government.  The 
son  of  Masan  went  to  Madrid  and  begged  the  King  to 
pardon  his  father.  The  French  ambassador  joined  his 
entreaties  to  those  of  the  devoted  son,  and  all  the  prison- 
ers were  released  from  captivity.  This  act  of  clemency 
proves  that  the  King  of  Spain  would  not  have  consented 

1778]  THE  EXILES  229 

to  the  execution  of  five  of  the  chiefs  of  the  Revolution  of 
1768  had  an  appeal  been  made  to  him  by  O'Reilly.  The 
latter  bears  the  sole  responsibility  for  this  cruel  deed. 

The  prisoners  of  Morro  Castle  never  returned  to  Loui- 
siana, and  are  said  to  have  retired  to  Santo  Domingo,  at 
the  Cap  Francais.  Baudry  des  Lozieres  says  that  Jean 
Milhet,  on  his  arrival  at  Santo  Domingo,  sent  for  his 
family,  and  that,  on  seeing  his  wife  and  three  children, 
his  joy  was  so  great  that  he  died  a  week  later.  The  un- 
fortunate exiles  from  Louisiana  suffered  again  during 
the  revolt  of  the  negroes  at  Santo  Domingo,  and  the  wife 
of  Jean  Milhet,  says  Baudry  des  Lozieres,  died  at  Phila- 
delphia. The  widow  of  Lafreniere  received  from  the 
King  of  France  ten  thousand  livres,  part  of  which  was 
to  be  given  to  the  widow  of  Xoyan,  Lafreniere's  son-in- 

The  Chevalier  Bienville  de  Noyan,  enseigne  de  vais- 
seau™  died  in  Santo  Domingo  in  March,  1778,  where  he 
had  formed  a  partnership  with  the  Baron  de  Breteuil. 
As  he  had  been  one  of  the  promoters  of  the  Revolution  of 
1768,  O'Reilly  had  confiscated  his  property.  Villars,  the 
French  commissioner  in  Louisiana,  says  that  the  Duke 
de  Duras,  the  Count  de  Vergennes,  and  the  Baron  de 
Breteuil,  as  relatives,  protectors,  and  friends  of  the  Che- 
valier de  Noyan,  endeavored  to  have  the  confiscation 
raised,  but  made  the  mistake  of  pleading  his  innocence, 
which  could  not  be  admitted  without  casting  suspicion 
on  the  justice  of  Count  O'Reilly  and  on  that  of  the  King 
who  had  ratified  the  conduct  of  his  general.  Now  that 
Noyan  is  dead,  Villars  adds  that  he  will  make  a  last  at- 

230         A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [m& 

tempt  in  favor  of  his  widow  and  children,  and  Governor 
Galvez  will  second  with  all  his  might  the  petition  to  the 
minister  of  the  Indies. 

Thus  ended  the  drama  that  began  when  Louis  XV 
ceded  to  Spain  the  colony  of  Louisiana,  where  were  liv- 
ing men  of  honor  and  of  courage  who  refused  to  be  trans- 
ferred to  a  foreign  sovereign.  It  is  a  sad  and  heroic 
story,  and  one  that  should  never  be  forgotten  on  the  soil 
where  was  shed  the  blood  of  Lafreniere,  Noyan,  Carresse, 
Marquis,  Joseph  Milhet,  and  Villere. 


Old  Papebs  of  Colonial  Times 

Interest  of  the  papers  of  colonial  times — Papers  signed  by  Lafr^nierc  and 
Foucault— A  lawsuit  and  a  petition  in  1769— Hunting  cattle  on  the  Gen- 
tilly  coast— Establishment  of  the  cahildo — The  governor  and  the  com- 
mandants—The alcaldes  and  the  escribano— Case  of  the  slave  Hautista — 
Military  life  in  1795— Petition  from  a  lady  in  1768— Louison,  the  Indian, 
freed  from  slavery— Contract  with  the  Acadians— Father  Dagobert's  in- 
duction into  office— A  petition  from  the  inhabitants  of  Cabaha-noce— Suit 
against  the  memory  of  a  supposed  self-homicide— Petition  in  1769  about 
a  "carriage"  (a  pirogue). 

MONG  the  archives  of  the  Louisiana 
Historical  Society  are  several  wooden 
boxes  containing  judicial  papers  of 
colonial  times.  The  Louisianians  of 
the  eighteenth  century  appear  to 
have  been  truly  religious  and  hon- 
orable, but  some  of  their  ideas  were 
peculiar,  and  their  language,  as  seen  in  their  judicial  pa- 
pers, is  somewhat  naive  and  bombastic.  The  bombastic 
style,  however,  in  the  eighteenth  century,  was  not  re- 
stricted to  Louisiana.  We  see  it  but  too  often  in  the  writ- 
ings of  French  authors,  especially  those  of  the  minor 
dramatists  who  had  forgotten  the  beautiful  language  of 
the  seventeenth  century.  They  seem  to  speak  to  poster- 
ity, and  they  use  the  longest  words  to  express  what  they 
consider  to  be  deep  philosophy.     Fortunately,  says  M. 


232         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         ["«» 

Petit  de  Julleville,  the  eminent  French  critic,  the  writers 
of  the  eighteenth  century  have  kept  the  secret  of  their 
style  and  have  not  transmitted  it  to  us.  It  is,  never- 
theless, interesting  to  make  a  study  of  that  style  as 
exemplified  in  the  Louisiana  documents,  and  to  try  to 
understand  what  was  the  condition  of  things  in  colonial 

The  papers  contained  in  the  box  marked  1768  and  1769 
are  of  special  interest,  as  they  bear  the  signature  of  La- 
freniere as  attorney-general.  In  October,  1768,  the  colo- 
nists expelled  Ulloa,  the  Spanish  governor,  and  it  is  in- 
teresting to  read  petitions  addressed  to  that  Superior 
Council  which  had  the  boldness  and  the  patriotism  to 
issue  the  decree  of  expulsion.  A  few  months  later 
O'Reilly  arrived,  and  on  October  25,  1769,  Lafreniere 
and  four  of  his  heroic  friends  were  executed,  while  others 
were  sent  to  prison.  The  insurrection  against  the  Spanish 
governor  was  general,  as  the  petition  sent  to  the  Superior 
Council  asking  that  Ulloa  either  show  his  credentials  or 
depart  was  signed  by  five  hundred  and  sixty  respectable 
inhabitants.  Foucault,  the  commissaire  ordonnateur,  was 
one  of  the  instigators  of  the  Revolution  of  1768 ;  but  as  he 
was  an  officer  of  the  King  of  France,  he  held  himself  ac- 
countable only  to  the  latter  for  his  conduct,  and  he  was 
sent  back  to  France.  He  was  first  judge  of  the  Council, 
and  his  name  and  that  of  Lafreniere  are  to  be  seen  on 
almost  all  the  French  papers  for  several  years. 

Among  these  papers  is  an  account  of  a  lawsuit,  which 
gives  a  good  idea  of  judicial  proceedings  and  of  the  style 
of  petitions  in  April,  1769.     Alexandre  Reboul,  mer- 

1769]  COLONIAL  PAPERS  233 

chant,  to  "  Nos  Seigneurs  "  of  the  Superior  Council  of 
the  Province  of  Louisiana,  says,  in  substance,  that  as  the 
Sieur  Voisin  was  very  ill,  his  family  thought  it  advisable 
to  send  him  to  town  to  be  treated,  and  he  stayed  at  the 
Sieur  Heboid's  house,  where  he  died.  The  plaintiff  claims 
compensation  for  expenses  incurred  by  having  at  his 
house  three  persons, — that  is  to  say,  the  widow  and  the 
children,  besides  three  slaves.  He  says  they  remained 
more  than  a  month  during  the  illness  of  the  Sieur  Voisin, 
and  about  fifteen  days  after  his  death.  Plaintiff  declares 
that  the  widow  Voisin  wishes  to  deprive  him  of  his  rights, 
but  that  he  owes  it  to  his  minor  children  to  insist  upon 
his  privileges,  and  he  claims  seven  hundred  and  fifty 
livres.  The  petition  is  dated  April  22,  1769,  and  on 
April  29  De  Lalande,  probably  acting  in  Foucault's  ab- 
sence, orders  the  case  to  be  brought  before  the  Superior 
Council.  Edme  Tranchant  Dupuy,  "  huissier,"  certifies 
that  he  has  notified  all  parties  interested  to  appear  before 
the  Council.  The  answer  of  the  widow  Voisin,  through 
her  lawyer,  the  Sieur  Billoard  Ch.  Dessales,  is  very 
curious : 

To  the  demand  little  civil  of  the  Sieur  Reboul:  Never  have 
arguments  been  more  painful  to  present  than  those  which  the 
defendant  offers  to-day  for  Madame  Voisin ;  obliged  to  do  so, 
however,  he  has  consulted  the  said  lady,  who  found  herself  in 
consternation  and  overwhelmed  with  the  greatest  resentment  and 
the  greatest  grief.  She  has  the  misfortune  to  see  the  children 
of  the  late  Sieur  Voisin  embittered  against  her  on  account  of  her 
renunciation  of  the  marriage  community,  which  she  has  done  for 
the  sole  purpose  of  providing  a  piece  of  bread  for  her  poor  chil- 
dren, who  are  minors  and  of  tender  age.    What  would  the  children 

234  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [n69 

of  the  late  M.  Voisin  require,* — or  rather  what  should  they  re- 
quire, they  who  are  provided  for,  who  have  means,  who  enjoy 
the  comforts  of  a  quiet  life?  Did  they  wish  that  she  should 
abandon  to  them  her  own  property,  to  her  detriment  and  that 
of  her  own  children  ?  Could  she  do  so  ?  And  if  she  had  done  so, 
would  not  her  conscience  have  been  alarmed,  even  lacerated?  On 
the  contrary,  she  threw  herself  at  the  feet  of  the  tribunal  to  im- 
plore its  justice  and  be  put  in  possession  of  the  property  she  had 
before  she  married  the  Sieur  Voisin,  and  in  that  way  to  protect 
her  children  from  indigence. 

Ought  the  Sieur  Reboul  to  use  this  means  to  bring  the  suit, 
ill-mannered  and  most  common,  which  he  brings  to-day?  If  it 
costs  the  widow  Voisin  tears,  sighs,  and  sobs,  she  will  render  justice 
to  the  Sieur  Reboul,  to  whom  it  must  have  cost  much  also  to 
make  this  demand.  Brought  up  in  the  house  of  the  King,  in 
the  most  distinguished  and  high  sentiments,  and  to  fall  at  once 
to  institute  such  vile  suits,  if  nature  does  not  suffer,  at  least  pride 
does.  The  silence  he  has  kept  thus  far  is  the  proof  of  this.  In- 
deed, forgetting  all  discretion  and  forgetting  himself,  he  asks 
750  livres  for  the  board  of  four  persons  and  three  servants.  Ma- 
dame Voisin  is  far  from  being  unwilling  to  indemnify  the  Sieur 
Reboul  for  the  extraordinary  expenses  he  may  have  incurred.  She 
is,  however,  compelled  to  say  that  she  remained  at  the  Sieur 
Reboul's  only  fifteen  days,  and  her  daughter  Tonton  fifteen  days, 
and  Marie  Voisin  was  at  her  aunt's ;  she  never  had  three  servants 
at  one  time;  she  had  only  one  negress  at  a  time,  who  went  back 
to  the  plantation  to  rest  when  she  was  tired,  and  the  servants 
brought  their  food  with  them  from  the  plantation. 

The  expense  for  twenty-three  days  for  one  person  can  never 
amount  to  750  livres,  especially  when  one  has  contributed  to  that 
expense?  Shall  this  fact  be  proved?  We  are  compelled  to  do 
so,  not  to  be  accused  of  ingratitude.  In  the  time  that  the 
Sieur  Voisin  was  ill  at  the  house  of  the  Sieur  Reboul,  there  were 
brought  from  the  plantation  of  the  widow  three  sheep,  ten  tur- 
keys, twenty  chickens,  two  barrels  of  rice,  one  barrel  of  potatoes, 

1769]  COLONIAL   PAPERS  235 

and  every  week  four  pounds  of  butter  and  a  quantity  of  vege- 
tables, as  well  as  eggs,  four  pounds  of  candles,  and  twenty  loaves 
of  long  bread.  Sball  we  say,  besides,  that  very  often  the  boarders 
wrote  tickets  for  bread,  but  the  Sieur  Reboul,  through  generosity, 
tore  them  up  and  would  not  allow  sending  to  the  baker's?  Shall 
we  say  that  money  was  given  to  buy  meat,  but  Madame  Reboul 
took  it  away  from  the  servants  and  would  not  allow  it?  What 
more  shall  we  say?  We  know  not  how  to  defend  ourselves;  that 
unexpected  attack  calls  for  silence,  and  only  leaves  a  moment  to 
beg  the  Court  to  consider  the  statement  hereto  attached,  and  to 
order  what  shall  appear  proper,  so  very  indignant  is  Madame 
Voisin  at  seeing  in  the  plaintiff  such  feelings,  unworthy  a  former 
officer  in  the  guards  of  the  King,  but  such  as  usually  cause  law- 
suits, in  which  fortunes  are  cither  increased  or  diminished. 

The  plea  of  the  procureur  Dessales,  signed  May  6, 
1769,  although  somewhat  bombastic,  is  ingenious  and 
caustic.    We  shall  pass  to  another  petition. 

The  tradition  in  New  Orleans  is,  that  the  name  Gen- 
tilly  is  a  corruption  of  Chantilly,  the  historical  palace  of 
the  Montmorencys  and  of  the  Condes,  which  has  been 
bequeathed  by  the  Duke  dAumale  to  the  Institute  of 
France.  One  of  these  papers  appears  to  prove  that  Gen- 
tilly  is  a  family  name,  or  rather  the  name  of  a  landed  es- 
tate which  belonged  to  one  of  the  best-known  and  oldest 
Louisiana  families. 

To  "  Nos  Seigneurs  "  of  the  Superior  Council  of  the  Province 
of  Louisiana:  The  inhabitants  of  the  coast  of  Gentilly  have  the 
honor  to  represent  that  a  certain  Braziller,  living  on  Bayou  St. 
John,  has  for  several  years  taken  the  liberty  of  going  on  the  Gen- 
tilly grounds  to  kill  cattle  which  he  pretended  to  believe  were 
wild.     A  few  years  ago,  by  his  own  authority,  he  is  said  to  have 

236         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [n* 

left  some  cattle  at  a  place  above  Gentilly,  called  Chef  Menteur, 
which  cattle  he  left  for  some  time  on  this  continent,  and  then 
he  had  them  exported  to  the  other  side  of  the  lake,  and  pretended 
that  some  have  remained  on  the  place,  since  he  does  not  cease  with 
his  negroes  to  hunt  cattle  and  kill  any  that  he  chances  to  meet 
and  carry  them  across  the  lake.  It  is  well  to  call  your  attention 
to  the  fact  that  the  greater  part  of  the  cattle  of  the  planters  of 
the  Gentilly  coast  are  and  have  been  at  all  times  on  this  continent. 

The  petition  declares  further  that  Braziller  has  just 
killed  two  oxen,  which  he  claims  as  his,  and  when  M. 
Dreux's  negro  asked  him  to  show  him  the  skins  and  heads, 
to  see  the  marks,  he  said  he  had  no  accounts  to  render,  and 
that  his  negroes  had  eaten  and  burned  the  heads,  using 
insulting  and  threatening  words  in  reply.  The  planters 
notified  him  not  to  hunt  cattle  any  more  on  their  conti- 
nent, but  he  paid  no  attention  to  them,  and  continued 
as  in  the  past,  and  a  great  many  cattle  are  missing,  es- 
pecially from  M.  Dreux  pfre,  who  ought  to  have  seven 
to  eight  hundred  cattle,  and  finds  that  he  has  fewer  than 
eighty.  The  petitioners  ask  if  any  one  has  ever  heard 
of  a  planter  or  any  other  individual  hunting  the  cattle 
of  the  planters  and  laying  his  hands  upon  them  without 
notifying  the  planters  of  the  neighborhood.  They  say 
that  Braziller  sells  as  meat  of  wild  oxen  what  is  really 
meat  of  French  oxen ;  and  that  there  is  nothing  more  im- 
pertinent than  this  man,  who  threatens  to  shoot  M. 
Dreux's  cattle-keeper.  The  petitioners,  therefore,  pray 
that  Braziller  and  his  negroes  be  forbidden  to  hunt  cattle 
or  any  other  game  on  the  Gentilly  coast;  and  that  he  be 
condemned  to  pay  a  fine  to  the  benefit  of  the  Charity 

1769]  COLONIAL   PAPERS  237 

Hospital.  Signed,  January  14,  1769,  by  Fazende,  S. 
Bernoudy,  Bernoudy,  Dreux,  Dreux  fils,  Dreux  Gen- 
tilly,  and  by  Lafreniere  as  attorney-general. 

The  words  "  continent,"  used  for  the  Gentilly  coast, 
and  "  French  oxen  "  are  curious.  The  latter  expression 
meant  undoubtedly  oxen  belonging  to  some  one,  and  not 
wild.  The  signature  "  Dreux  Gentilly  "  indicates  that 
the  Gentilly  coast  was  named  for  some  landed  estate 
of  the  Dreux  family  to  which  belonged  the  distinguished 
Creole  orator  and  Confederate  officer,  Charles  D.  Dreux. 

The  Superior  Council,  to  which  were  addressed  the 
petitions  just  mentioned,  went  out  of  existence  when 
O'Reilly  took  possession  of  the  colony  in  the  name  of  the 
King  of  Spain.  A  cabildo  was  substituted  for  the  Coun- 
cil, says  Judge  Martin  in  his  History  of  Louisiana.  This 
was  composed  of  six  perpetual  regidors,  two  ordinary 
alcaldes,  an  attorney-general,  a  syndic,  and  a  clerk.  The 
ordinary  alcaldes  were  judges  in  New  Orleans,  and  de- 
cided without  appeal  all  cases  where  the  value  of  the 
object  in  dispute  did  not  exceed  90,000  maravedis,  or 
$330.88.  Beyond  this  amount,  an  appeal  lay  to  the  ca- 
bildo; but,  says  Judge  Martin,  "  this  body  did  not  itself 
examine  the  judgment  appealed  from,  but  chose  two  re- 
gidors, who,  with  the  alcalde  who  had  rendered  it,  re- 
viewed the  proceedings,  and  if  he  and  either  of  the  regi- 
dors approved  the  decision,  it  was  affirmed." 

The  governor's  authority  was  very  great,  and  he  had 
both  executive  and  judicial  power,  and  to  some  extent 
legislative  power  also.  In  his  judicial  capacity  he  had 
as  counselor  the  auditor  or  assessor.     The  latter  person 

238  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA  [1795 

sometimes  had  the  titles  of  assessor,  auditor,  and  lieuten- 
ant-governor, as  in  the  case  of  Nicolas  Maria  Vidal  dur- 
ing Carondelet's  administration.  In  the  parishes  outside 
of  New  Orleans  there  was  a  commandant  who  had  juris- 
diction in  civil  cases  involving  not  more  than  twenty  dol- 
lars. Beyond  that  amount,  the  commandant  took  down 
the  testimony  and  sent  the  papers  to  the  governor.  He 
likewise  sent  to  the  governor  a  transcript  of  the  evidence 
in  criminal  cases,  and  had  no  authority  to  judge  the  ac- 
cused. He  was  empowered,  however,  to  arrest  and  im- 
prison him  until  the  governor  gave  the  decision.  The 
commandant  was  a  very  important  personage  in  a  parish, 
and  had  a  number  of  duties  to  perform. 

From  what  precedes,  we  see  that  justice  was  admin- 
istered in  the  city  by  the  two  ordinary  alcaldes  and  by 
the  governor,  and  in  the  parishes,  to  a  limited  extent,  by 
the  commandant.  Two  other  important  officials  were  the 
"  escribano  publico,"  or  clerk  of  the  cabildo,  and  the 
translator.  From  1788  to  the  end  of  the  Spanish  domi- 
nation the  "  escribano  "  was  Pedro  Pedesclaux,  whose  sig- 
nature is  attached  to  numerous  documents. 

In  1795  the  governor  was  Don  Francisco  Luis  Hector, 
Baron  de  Carondelet,  whose  administration  was  marked 
by  internal  improvements,  and  was  judicious  and  wise. 

The  times  of  slavery  are  remote  and  past  forever,  and 
no  one  regrets  them;  but  as  slavery  was  for  many  years 
an  institution  in  Louisiana,  it  is  interesting  to  see  what 
were  the  rights  of  the  slave  and  how  he  was  treated  by 
the  courts  of  justice. 

Bautista,  a  slave  of  the  estate  of  Widow  Reine,  de- 

1795]  COLONIAL   PAPERS  239 

clares  that  by  the  will  of  his  mistress  he  was  valued  at 
$350,  as  she  said  that  he  should  become  the  slave  of  her 
son  Estevan,  provided  the  latter  paid  to  the  estate  the 
sum  stipulated  in  the  will.  Bautista  says  he  has  found 
some  one  willing  to  give  him  the  $350  required,  and  he 
begs  that  the  administrator  of  the  estate  should  grant  him 
his  freedom  on  his  paying  that  amount.  The  alcalde, 
Don  Ignacio  Josef  de  Lovia,  summons  the  negro  Bau- 
tista  and  the  executor  or  administrator  of  the  estate  to 
appear  before  him,  and  Pedesclaux,  the  escribano,  cer- 
tifies to  his  having  notified  both.  "  Doy  fee  "  is  the  ex- 
pression he  uses.  Don  Francisco  Cousin,  the  executor, 
asks  that  the  testament  be  produced  in  court,  and  the  al- 
calde grants  the  request.  This  testament,  like  many  others 
of  the  time  of  the  Spanish  domination,  begins  with  a  most 
fervent  prayer.  The  assertion  of  the  negro  that  his  mis- 
tress wished  to  sell  him  to  her  son  for  $350  is  borne  out 
by  the  will.  The  executor,  however,  denies  that  this 
is  the  value  of  the  slave,  and  asks  that  appraisers  be  ap- 
pointed to  ascertain  his  value.  Both  parties  are  duly  no- 
tified, and  Bautista  chooses  Don  Bernardo  Tremoulet, 
and  the  executor  Don  Geronimo  Lachiapella.  The  ap- 
praisers are  sworn,  and  Lachiapella  values  the  slave  at 
$1100,  as  being  an  excellent  carpenter,  and  Tremoulet 
says  that  he  is  worth  $600,  because  he  works  only  as  di- 
rected by  others.  The  appraisers  not  agreeing,  the  al- 
calde names  Don  Roberto  Jones,  master  carpenter,  as 
umpire.  This  decision  is  communicated  to  the  executor 
of  the  estate  and  to  the  slave,  and  the  umpire,  being  sworn, 
declares,  like  Don  Bernardo  Tremoulet,  that  Bautista 

240         A  HISTORY  OF  LOUISIANA         11795 

is  not  an  excellent  workman,  and  he  values  him  at  $800. 
The  court  accepts  the  appraisement  of  the  umpire  as 
final,  and  orders  that  the  parties  concerned  be  informed 
of  the  decision.  The  executor  replies  that,  should  the  said 
slave  be  unable  to  pay  the  $800  stipulated,  he  (the  ex- 
ecutor) begs  to  be  authorized  to  sell  him  for  the  account 
of  the  estate.  The  case  ends  with  the  statement  of  Bau- 
tista  that  he  cannot  pay  $800. 

The  slave  is  certainly  to  be  pitied  that  he  did  not  suc- 
ceed in  obtaining  his  freedom,  but  throughout  the  whole 
proceeding  we  observe  the  equity  and  impartiality  of  the 
court.  The  slave  being  a  property  guaranteed  by  law, 
the  executor  of  the  estate  did  his  duty  in  trying  to  ob- 
tain as  high  a  price  for  him  as  possible,  and  the  court 
could  not  do  otherwise  than  require  Bautista  to  pay  the 
amount  of  the  valuation. 

Don  Francisco  Luis  Hector,  Baron  de  Carondelet, 
Knight  of  the  Order  of  St.  John,  Brigadier  of  the  Royal 
Armies,  Governor-General  and  Royal  Vice-Patron  of 
the  Province  of  Louisiana  and  of  West  Florida,  and  In- 
spector of  the  Veteran  Troops  and  of  the  Militia,  said, 
in  substance,  that  on  June  3  Martin  Villanueva,  Captain 
of  the  Seventh  Company  of  the  First  Battalion  of  the 
Regiment  of  Infantry,  who  was  on  guard  with  his  colonel, 
informed  the  governor  that  he  had  taken  to  prison  a 
civilian  named  Fare,  whom  he  had  met  quarreling  with  a 
soldier  of  the  Regiment  of  Mexico.  He  arrested  the  lat- 
ter also,  and  sent  him  to  his  quarters,  and  took  away  from 
Fare  a  knife,  which  he  brought  to  the  governor.  A  sol- 
dier named  Amort  was  witness  of  the  facts.    The  gov- 

n95]  COLONIAL   PAPERS  241 

ernor,  therefore  ordered  the  escribano,  Pedesclaux,  to  as- 
certain the  quality  and  dimensions  of  the  knife,  and  to 
summon  as  experts  the  master  armorer,  Pedro  Lambert, 
and  the  blacksmith,  Marcelino  Hernandez,  who  should 
testify  under  oath  whether  the  knife  was  one  of  those 
prohibited  by  the  royal  edicts.  Captain  Villanueva,  the 
soldier  Amort,  and  the  soldier  of  the  Regiment  of  Mexico, 
were  also  to  appear  as  witnesses  in  the  case,  of  which  the 
lieutenant-governor,  Nicolas  Maria  Vidal,  was  to  be  the 
judge.  The  escribano  proceeded  to  measure  the  knife, 
of  which  he  gave  a  curious  and  exact  drawing,  and  of 
which  the  dimensions  were:  blade,  seven  inches  and  three 
lines,  with  a  point ;  wooden  handle,  four  inches  and  three 
lines,  and  attached  to  the  blade  by  three  nails.  The  ex- 
perts, Lambert  and  Hernandez,  testified  under  oath — 
the  first  through  the  interpreter,  Estevan  de  Quinones, 
the  second  directly — that  the  knife  was  one  of  which  the 
use  was  forbidden  in  the  colony.  Captain  Villanueva  tes- 
tified that,  being  on  duty  in  the  evening  at  the  house  of 
his  colonel,  Don  Francisco  Bouligny,  he  heard  the  sen- 
tinel calling,  and  on  going  out  to  see  what  it  was,  he  per- 
ceived a  civilian  holding  a  knife  in  his  hand  and  pursuing 
a  soldier  of  the  Regiment  of  Mexico.  He  took  the  knife 
from  the  civilian,  and  carried  it  to  the  governor.  Being- 
asked  if  he  knew  the  civilian,  he  said  he  was  a  baker  at 
whose  shop  the  soldiers  often  bought  bread.  He  added 
that  the  man  was  very  drunk  ("muy  borracho"),  as 
on  entering  the  guard-house  he  lay  down  on  an  old 
sofa  that  was  there.  Being  asked  if  the  baker  and  the 
soldier  of  Mexico  were  wounded,  he  replied  that  they 

242  A   HISTORY    OF    LOUISIANA  [ms 

were  not,  but  that  the  latter  bore  traces  of  blows  on  his 

The  testimony  of  the  soldier  of  the  Regiment  of  Mex- 
ico is  quite  curious  and  interesting.  He  relates  that,  as 
the  baker  was  on  friendly  terms  with  the  soldiers  of  the 
regiment,  in  which  were  some  men  called  John  (Juan), 
the  latter  ordered  a  pie  from  the  baker,  and  invited  him 
to  come  and  celebrate  their  feast  with  them.  The  baker 
went,  and  on  leaving  the  quarters  of  the  soldiers  he  saw 
that  it  was  raining  very  hard.  He  asked  the  witness  to 
lend  him  a  coat,  and  the  latter  borrowed  that  of  his  ser- 
geant, who  ordered  him  to  accompany  the  baker  to  his 
house,  so  that  he  might  bring  back  the  coat.  On  arriving 
at  the  baker's  house,  the  soldier  was  invited  to  come  in, 
and  he  found  at  the  baker's  several  persons.  They  all 
began  to  drink,  and  the  baker,  says  the  witness,  became 
completely  drunk  ("  enteramente  borracho  "),  and  when 
he  was  asked  for  the  sergeant's  coat,  he  and  his  friends 
beat  the  soldier  unmercifully.  The  latter,  to  defend  him- 
self, gave  a  kick  at  the  baker,  who  seized  a  knife  and 
pursued  him  into  the  street.  The  knife  was  duly  identi- 
fied by  all  the  witnesses  and  the  testimony  of  every  one 
was  very  damaging  to  the  enraged  and  drunken  "  pa- 
nadero."  The  judgment  of  Lieutenant-Governor  Vidal 
is  not  recorded. 

The  Sieur  Monsanto,  a  merchant,  claiming  a  large 
sum  of  money  from  a  lady,  the  latter  says  that  her 
deceased  husband  compelled  her,  in  1763,  to  sign  an  act 
by  which  he  admitted  a  debt  of  25,000  livres  in  paper 
money  of  the  colony,  in  exchange  for  12,500  livres  in 

i77o]  COLONIAL    PAPERS  243 

coin.  She  says  that  the  livre  in  paper  at  that  time  was 
worth  only  one  fourth  of  a  livre  in  coin,  and  that  as  the 
creditor  has  already  received  7500  livres  in  coin,  an 
amount  equal  to  30,000  livres  in  paper,  she  now  (Octo- 
ber 1,  1768)  begs  the  Superior  Council  to  release  her 
from  her  obligations,  and  adds  that  she  has  nothing  but 
her  life  and  her  tears,  weak  resources  which  all  women 
have.    The  decision  of  the  Council  is  not  given. 

On  April  30,  1770,  the  Sieur  Pierre  Clermont  ap- 
peared before  the  notary  of  the  cabildo  and  declared  that 
he  had  had  for  a  long  time  in  his  service  an  Indian  named 
Louison,  of  the  nation  of  the  "  Sious."  The  latter  has 
served  him  with  so  much  attachment  and  zeal  that  he  de- 
sires to  reward  him,  and  believes  that  the  best  way  to  do  so 
is  to  give  him  his  freedom.  As,  however,  he  has  an  indis- 
pensable need  of  the  Indian  for  three  years  longer,  and 
he  fears  that  he  might  be  prevented  by  death  from  liber- 
ating him,  he  declares  it  to  be  his  wish  that  in  three  years 
Louison  be  set  free  and  enjoy  all  the  rights  of  freedom. 
Louison,  in  his  turn,  declares  that  he  thanks  the  Sieur 
Clermont,  and  promises  to  serve  him  faithfully  three 
years.  He  also  says  that  he  agrees  to  lose  all  rights  given 
to  him  by  his  master  if  he  should  prove  ungrateful  to 

The  fact  of  an  Indian  of  the  Sioux  tribe  being  a  slave 
in  New  Orleans  in  1770  is  strange,  and  the  name  of  the 
savage,  Louison,  is  stranger  still.  It  must  have  been  very 
humiliating  to  an  Indian  brave  to  change  his  own  proud 
name  to  that  of  a  woman. 

In  a  paper  dater  April  4,  1765,  we  see  a  contract  be- 

244  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nes 

tween  Antoine  Bernard  Dauterive,  former  captain  of  in- 
fantry, and  Joseph  Broussard,  dit  Beausoleil,  Alexandre 
Broussard,  Joseph  Guilleheau,  Jean  Duga,  Olivier  Thi- 
baudau,  Jean-Baptiste  Broussard,  Pierre  Arcenaud,  and 
Victor  Broussard,  chiefs  of  the  Acadians.  Captain  Daute- 
rive promises  to  furnish  each  Acadian  family  with  five 
cows  with  their  calves,  and  one  bull,  for  six  consecutive 
years,  and  he  will  take  the  risk  of  the  loss  of  the  cattle 
only  the  first  year.  As  soon  as  he  shall  be  notified  of  a 
loss  he  will  immediately  replace  the  animal  by  another 
one  of  the  same  kind,  without  holding  the  Acadians  re- 
sponsible for  losses  by  death  during  the  first  year.  He 
reserves  the  right  to  rescind  the  contract  after  three  years, 
and  to  take  back  his  cattle,  all  increase  being  equally  di- 
vided between  him  and  them.  The  Acadians  may  sell 
some  of  the  cattle  before  the  expiration  of  the  contract, 
provided  they  give  him  half  the  price  received.  At  the 
end  of  six  years  they  must  give  back  to  M.  Dauterive  the 
same  number  of  cattle  that  they  received  from  him,  and 
of  the  same  age  and  kind  as  those  that  had  been  received, 
all  increase  and  profits  to  be  equally  divided  between  M. 
Dauterive  and  the  Acadians.  The  chiefs  of  the  latter  bind 
themselves  and  colleagues  in  solido,  and  mortgage  all 
their  property,  and  so  does  M.  Dauterive.  The  contract 
is  signed  before  Garic,  notary,  in  the  presence  of  Aubry, 
acting  governor  of  the  colony;  Foucault,  ordonnateur; 
Lafreniere,  attorney-general,  and  Mazange  and  Cou- 

It  is  not  stated  where  the  Acadians  were  to  go  after 
leaving  New  Orleans;  but  some  of  their  chiefs  certainly 

1765]  COLONIAL   PAPERS  245 

went  to  the  Attakapas  country,  for  in.the  church  register 
in  St.  Martinville  is  a  certificate  of  the  birth  of  a  daugh- 
ter of  Olivier  Thibaudau,  Irani  on  May  10,  1765,  proba- 
bly the  first  child  born  in  Louisiana  of  Acadian  parents. 
The  contract  proves  that  the  Acadians  were  well  received 
in  the  province ;  for  in  the  agreement  with  M.  Dauterive 
all  the  advantages  were  on  their  side.  For  the  first  year 
they  were  protected  against  loss  of  their  cattle,  and  they 
were  to  receive  half  the  profits.  As  to  the  mortgage  on 
the  property,  they  had  far  less  to  lose  than  M.  Daute- 
rive, who  must  have  been  wealthy,  while  they  are  repre- 
sented as  having  come  to  Louisiana  in  great  distress. 

The  contract  between  M.  Dauterive  and  the  chiefs  of 
the  Acadians  is  important  in  that  it  proves  that  the  help 
given  to  the  Acadians  came  from  individuals  as  well 
as  from  the  government.  The  latter,  however,  seemed  to 
assume  the  responsibility  of  the  agreement,  as  the  paper 
was  signed  by  the  first  officials  of  the  government.  The 
Acadians,  doubtless,  received  their  lands  free  from  the 

Father  Dagobert's  name  is  so  well  known  in  Louisiana, 
and  is  connected  with  so  many  legends  and  poems,  that 
it  is  interesting  to  reproduce  the  official  account  of  his 
taking  possession  of  his  pastoral  office  on  October  7, 
1764.  Garic,  royal  notary  of  the  province  of  Louisiana 
and  chief  clerk  of  the  Superior  Council,  certifies  that 
the  Rev.  Father  Dagobert  de  Longory,  former  superior 
of  the  Capuchin  missionaries  from  Champagne,  has  pre- 
sented a  commission  from  the  Rev.  Father  Hilaire  de 
Geneveaux,  which  gives  to  Father  Dagobert  possession, 

246  A   HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [itm 

collation,  and  charge,  as  curate,  of  the  parochial  church 
of  St.  Louis,  in  New  Orleans,  with  all  rights  and  priv- 
ileges. The  said  commission  given  hy  the  Rev.  Father 
Hilaire  de  Geneveaux,  as  superior  of  the  missions  of 
Louisiana,  has  been  ordered  registered  by  the  Superior 
Council  and  recognized;  and,  therefore,  the  clerk  of 
the  Council  went  to  the  cathedral  at  eight  o'clock  in  the 
morning  when  the  curate  was  to  take  possession  of  the 
church.  The  persons  present  were  Lafreniere,  Duclos, 
assistant  attorney-general;  Cantrelle  and  Jacquelin, 
churchwardens;  Dreux,  Huchet  de  Kernion,  Le  Breton, 
Aubry,  and  other  notable  inhabitants  of  the  province. 

The  clerk  read  Father  Dagobert's  commission  and  the 
decree  of  the  Council,  and  then  Father  Eustache,  former 
curate,  put  his  successor  in  possession  of  his  office.  The 
ceremonies  were :  putting  on  the  stole,  taking  holy  water, 
prayers  before  the  principal  altar,  visiting  the  pulpit  and 
the  baptismal  fonts,  ringing  the  bells,  standing  at  the 
place  where  the  curate  is  to  officiate  at  the  altar,  and  other 
formalities.  Then  the  clerk  proclaimed  in  a  loud  and  in- 
telligible voice  that  Father  Dagobert  had  taken  posses- 
sion of  his  office,  and,  no  one  protesting,  immediately 
the  Te  Deum  was  sung  and  the  act  drawn  up  by  Clerk 
Garic  was  signed  by  all  present. 

In  1796  a  petition  was  addressed  to  Governor  Caronde- 
let  by  the  inhabitants  of  St.  James  parish,  district  of 
Cabaha-noce.  It  appears  that  the  parish  priest,  Father 
de  Azuquequa,  having  died,  the  court  ordered  the  servant 
of  the  parsonage  to  be  sold  and  the  price  paid  to  Father 
Mangan,  successor  to  Father  de  Azuquequa.     The  in- 

n96]  COLONIAL    PAPERS  247 

habitants  of  the  parish  protest  against  the  judgment,  and 
appeal  to  the  governor.  Their  petition  is  interesting  and 
is  better  written  than  most  documents  of  that  time.  It 
is  drawn  up  in  French,  in  what  seems  to  be  the  handwrit- 
ing of  Michel  Cantrelle,  commandant  of  the  parish,  and 
then  admirably  translated  into  Spanish  by  Juan  Josef 
Duforest.  The  petitioners  declare  that  it  is  well  known 
that  since  their  arrival  in  this  country  they  have  built  at 
their  own  expense  a  church  for  divine  service;  that  they 
have  kept  it  in  as  good  condition  as  they  could;  that 
they  have  always  given  good  lodging  to  the  priest;  that 
they  have  bought,  with  the  consent  of  Bishop  Cirilo,  of 
Barcelona,  servants  for  the  use  of  the  priest  and  them- 
selves. The  slaves  are  to  serve  them  during  Lent  and  at 
other  times  when,  the  distance  being  too  great,  they  are 
not  able  to  return  home  without  eating  something.  The 
servants  are  also  to  provide  them  with  water  to  drink  on 
Sundays.  Why  should  they  be  deprived  of  that  conve- 
nience, which  costs  nothing  to  any  one  except  to  them  ?  It 
is  said  to  be  against  the  regulations  of  the  church,  but  they 
are  utterly  ignorant  of  such  regulations.  They  say  they 
ask  for  no  favor,  but  simply  claim  justice,  and  request 
that  not  a  cent  (denier)  be  taken  from  the  estate  of  Fa- 
ther de  Azuquequa  before  their  rights  are  determined. 
"  In  short,"  they  say,  "  in  order  to  prove  to  the  world  that 
we  are  not  looking  for  quarrels  or  quibbles,  we  ask  no 
other  judges  but  your  Excellency  and  Monseigneur  the 
bishop,  having  full  confidence  in  your  equity  and  impar- 
tiality. As  vice-patron  royal,  we  dare  hope  that  you 
will  receive  our  demand  favorably,  which  has  no  other 

248  A   HISTORY    OF    LOUISIANA        [ira6 

.aim  but  to  end  an  unpleasant  suit  that  deprives  us  of  the 
tranquillity  that  has  always  reigned  in  this  parish,  and 
prevents  us  from  contributing  as  generously  as  we  should 
like  to  the  care  of  the  church.  In  order  that  you  may  be 
informed  perfectly  of  our  reasons,  we  shall  name,  to  ex- 
plain them  if  you  judge  proper,  two  old  inhabitants  of 
our  parish,  to  whom  will  be  added  our  commandant,  Don 
Miguel  Cantrelle,  who  knows  better  than  any  one  what 
concerns  our  community."  The  petition  is  signed  by  many 
persons  whose  descendants  still  live  in  St.  James  parish. 

The  name  Cabaha-noce,  which  was  said  to  mean  "  the 
ducks'  sleeping  place,"  was  given  by  Governor  Roman  to 
his  plantation,  and  should  have  been  preserved  in  St. 
James  parish.  We  should  at  least  respect  the  Indian 
names,  which  remind  us  of  the  aborigines  and  their 

Bienville,  the  founder  of  New  Orleans,  father  of  the 
colony,  asked  to  be  relieved  of  his  office  of  governor  after 
his  unfortunate  war  with  the  Chickasaws,  and  returned 
to  France  in  1743.  His  successor  was  the  Marquis  de 
Vaudreuil,  who  was  appointed  Governor  of  Louisiana  in 
1741.  In  1753  he  was  appointed  Governor  of  Canada,  and 
left  Louisiana,  where  he  was  known  as  the  "  Grand  Mar- 
quis." During  his  administration  took  place  an  event 
that  reveals  a  curious  phase  of  the  life  of  our  ancestors 
in  the  eighteenth  century.  It  shows  that,  however  pecu- 
liar some  of  their  ideas  may  appear  to  us,  they  were  al- 
ways actuated  by  feelings  of  honor  and  justice.  On 
April  18,  1752,  Raguet,  member  of  the  Superior  Coun- 
cil, declares  that  he  has  made  an  "  information,"  at  the 

17S2]  COLONIAL    PAPERS  249 

request  of  the  attorney-general,  Fleuriau,  plaintiff  and 
accuser  of  the  memory  of  a  soldier  named  Andre  Servin- 
ien,  dit  La  Rochelle,  accused  of  having  destroyed  himself 
hy  a  gunshot  in  the  head,  said  "  information  "  heing  of 
his  life  and  morals  as  well  as  of  his  suicide.  Joseph 
Odoy,  soldier  of  the  company  of  Benoist,  swears  that  he 
is  neither  a  relative  nor  a  servant  of  the  accused,  and 
testifies  that  La  Rochelle,  a  soldier  of  his  company  and 
of  his  mess,  killed  himself  with  his  gun  yesterday  morn- 
ing, between  eight  and  nine  o'clock.  Witness  had  gone 
to  the  river  to  get  some  water,  and  on  returning  found 
La  Rochelle  dead.  One  hour  before  this  La  Rochelle 
had  taken  a  knife,  saying  that  he  wished  to  destroy  him- 
self; and  every  day,  as  soon  as  he  had  taken  a  drink,  he 
became  terribty  angry,  and  in  his  great  furies  he  even 
threatened  to  kill  his  father,  and  his  comrades  had  to  pre- 
vent him  from  killing  himself.  Witness  was  never  on 
intimate  terms  with  him,  on  account  of  his  violence  and 
bad  temper,  and  it  is  possible  that  sometimes  his  mind 
wandered  (fut  ecarte).  Jean  Louis  Rabido,  soldier  of 
the  same  company,  testifies  that  La  Rochelle  had  extraor- 
dinary fits  of  anger  and  fury,  taking  a  knife  to  cut  his 
stomach,  and  making  blood  flow,  cursing  and  abusing 
the  name  of  God,  acting  in  a  way  to  make  witness  shud- 
der, and  saying  he  would  never  pardon  his  father.  Wit- 
ness believes  that  when  La  Rochelle  had  taken  some 
drinks  his  mind  wandered.  Pierre  Filcher  and  Andre 
Desjardins,  soldiers,  make  the  same  statements  as  the 
preceding  witnesses.  They  believe  that  La  Rochelle's 
mind  was  alienated,  and  they  say  that,  while  at  the  can- 

250         A  HISTORY  OF   LOUISIANA         [ira 

teen,  he  went  from  table  to  table,  taking  the  bottles  and 
drinking  like  a  madman. 

On  April  19, 1752,  the  attorney-general  appears  before 
Commissioner  Raguet  and  declares  that  he  has  just 
heard  that  the  body  of  Andre  Servinien,  dit  La  Rochelle, 
against  whose  memory  and  corpse  he  was  prosecuting 
this  criminal  suit,  has  been  taken  away  from  the  cabin  in 
the  King's  Hospital,  where  it  had  been  deposited.  There- 
upon, M.  Raguet  and  the  attorney-general  went  to  the 
hospital,  questioned  two  students  in  medicine,  Chastang 
and  Dupont,  and  also  the  two  Ursuline  nuns  in  charge 
of  the  hospital,  but  could  obtain  no  information  concern- 
ing the  soldier's  body.  The  nuns  declared  that  they  had 
passed  the  night  at  their  monastery,  and  only  heard,  be- 
tween four  and  five  o'clock,  that  the  body  had  been  taken 
away;  it  must  have  been  done  during  the  great  thunder- 
storm in  the  night.  On  the  same  day,  April  19,  Raguet 
says  that  as  Servinien,  "  homicided,"  has  no  relatives  in 
this  colony,  he  has  named  curator  to  his  memory  Pierre 
Cecile,  who,  being  duly  notified,  has  accepted  the  office 
and  sworn  to  defend  faithfully  the  memory  of  Servinien. 
On  April  20,  the  witnesses,  Odoy,  Rabido,  Filcher,  and 
Desjardins,  were  brought  before  M.  Raguet,  and  their 
testimony,  given  on  April  18,  was  read  to  them  and  duly 
approved  by  them.  On  April  20,  Pierre  Cecile,  curator, 
appeared  before  the  commissioner  and  was  asked  all 
kinds  of  questions  about  Servinien,  dit  La  Rochelle.  He 
related  the  facts  already  given  by  the  witnesses,  soldiers 
in  Servinien's  company;  and  being  asked  if  he  had  any- 
thing to  say  in  favor  of  the  memory  of  Servinien,  he 


replied  that  the  latter  had  the  mind  of  a  madman,  and 
that  there  was  more  madness  in  him  than  despair. 

On  April  21,  all  the  witnesses  were  again  brought  be- 
fore the  commissioner  and  examined  by  the  curator,  and 
they  all  gave  the  same  testimony  as  before.  Here  ended 
the  labors  of  the  Commissioner  Raguet,  and  the  suit  was 
carried  for  judgment  before  the  Superior  Council  itself, 
presided  over  by  the  governor.  On  May  6  Curator  Ce- 
cile  appeared  before  the  Council,  and  he  again  narrated 
the  same  facts,  and  offered  the  same  defense  as  before 
M.  Raguet.  Therefore  the  Council  rendered  the  follow- 
ing decision:  Whereas,  it  appears  that  Andre  Servinien, 
dit  La  Rochelle,  was  not  in  his  proper  senses,  and  his 
mind  was  alienated  and  attacked  with  fury:  it  is  resolved 
that  his  memory  be  discharged  of  the  accusation  brought 
against  it.  Signed  by  Vaudreuil,  governor;  Michel,  or- 
donnateur;  DAuberville,  commissioner  of  marine;  and 
Raguet,  De  Lalande,  Huchet  de  Kernion,  Le  Breton, 
members  of  the  Council. 

In  April,  1769,  M.  Sorel  requested  his  friend,  Dr. 
Lebeau,  to  endeavor  to  find  and  return  to  him  a  pirogue 
that  was  stolen  from  him.  Dr.  Lebeau  found  a  pirogue 
that  agreed  with  the  description  given  to  him  by  M. 
Sorel,  and  obtained  from  Foucault,  ordonnateur  and 
first  judge  of  the  Council,  an  order  that  experts  be 
named  to  decide  whether  the  pirogue  was  M.  Sorel's 
or  not.  The  experts,  after  examining  carefully  the 
pirogue,  or  "  voiture,"  decided  that  it  agreed  with  the 
description  given  by  M.  Sorel,  and  Dr.  Lebeau  thought 
he  had   obtained   possession   of   his   friend's   property. 

252  A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA         [nra 

But  the  Sieur  Saligny,  from  "  la  Cote  des  Allemands," 
intervened  and  claimed  the  pirogue  as  his.  In  his  pe- 
tition he  speaks  harshly  of  Dr.  Lebeau,  and  claims  not 
only  the  pirogue,  but  damages  and  two  days'  pay  for 
three  Germans  who  had  come  with  him  to  identify  his 
property.  Dr.  Lebeau,  replying  to  Saligny 's  petition, 
says  that  the  experts  have  examined  the  pirogue,  have 
measured  it,  have  found  a  hole  made  by  a  knot  in  the  wood 
and  closed  it  by  a  plank,  and  now  it  is  said  the  hole  was 
closed  by  a  plug.  "  A  plug  is  not  nailed ;  it  is  a  cylindri- 
cal body,  whose  base  is  about  equal  to  the  point,  and  the 
piece  of  wood  that  closes  the  hole  is  three  inches  in  diam- 
eter and  two  inches  in  depth;  therefore  it  is  not  a  plug. 
Is  the  Sieur  Sorel  in  default  for  not  having  made  a  geo- 
metrical plan  of  the  object?  One  of  my  negroes  testified 
that  in  M.  Sorel's  pirogue  there  were  one  hundred  pegs 
to  close  small  holes,  and  in  the  pirogue  in  dispute  two 
hundred.  Now,  that  negro  cannot  count  further  than 
twenty.  The  story  of  this  pirogue  is  a  strange  incident, 
for  it  would  require  all  the  pirogues  in  the  universe  to 
find  two  so  exactly  alike  as  this  one  and  M.  Sorel's.  Men 
are  all  under  the  protection  of  the  laws,  but  especially 
honest  people,  whose  labor  is  useful  to  society,  and  not 
people  whose  occupation  is  to  the  detriment  of  society, 
like  these  coast  runners  ('coureurs  de  cote'),  who,  un- 
der pretext  of  bringing  merchandise,  carry  disorder  and 
death  to  the  plantations,  by  selling  rum  there.  The  police 
of  a  country  should  not  only  see  that  there  should  be  no 
useless  members  of  society,  but  also  should  remove  the 
vicious  members.     We  must  therefore  know  who  are 

1769]  COLONIAL   PAPERS  253 

Saligny  and  his  associates.  Where  do  they  come  from? 
How  are  they  here?  Are  they  not  amphibious — some- 
times Englishmen,  sometimes  Frenchmen?  Does  their 
labor  contribute  to  the  welfare  of  humanity?  The  con- 
stant thefts  of  pirogues  are  the  work  of  coast  runners, 
deserters.  If  the  want  of  complete  proof  always  protects 
them,  there  is  nothing  which  they  will  not  attempt  to  do. 
Presumption  of  guilt  should  always  be  against  persons 
who  have  an  illicit  commerce  and  who  labor  to  foment 

Dr.  Lebeau's  petition  is  energetic  and  fearless,  and 
gives  a  good  idea  of  the  customs  of  the  time.  The  word 
vehicle  or  carriage  ("  voiture  ") ,  used  for  pirogue,  shows 
that  in  1769  our  fathers  lived  on  the  banks  of  rivers  and 
bayous,  and  used  their  pirogues  principally  as  means  of 




1  Bancroft  says:  "  It  was  supposed  to  be  an  island,  and  received 
the  name  of  Florida,  from  the  day  on  which  it  was  discovered,  and 
from  the  aspect  of  the  forests,  which  were  then  brilliant  with  a  pro- 
fusion of  blossoms,  and  gay  with  the  fresh  verdure  of  early  spring." 
(History  of  the  United  States,  Vol.  I,  page  33.) 

•  W.  B.  Scaife,  America,  its  Geographical  History. 
3  Peter  J.  Hamilton,  Colonial  Mobile. 

*  Monette's  Valley  of  the  Mississippi.  Luis  Hernandez  de  Biedma, 
A  Gentleman  of  Elvas,  in  collection  of  B.  F.  French. 


1  Translation  of  B.  F.  French. 

2  John    Gilmary    Shea's    Hennepin's    Description    of    Louisiana 
(New  York,  1880). 

3  I  follow  Parkman's  translation,  and  insert  the  words  omitted  by 


1  Margry,   Origines    franchises   des    Pays   d'Outre-Mer,   Vol.    IV, 

2  Alex.   Jodoin  et  J.   L.  Vincent,  Histoire  de  Longueil  et  de  la 
Famile  de  Longueil,  page  82. 

3  There  is  some  uncertainty  about  the  fate  of  Sauvole,  brother  of 
Iberville  and  Bienville. 

4  Winsor's  Narrative  and  Critical  History,  page  14. 

0  Journal  de  la  Navigation  de  Le  Moyne  d' Iberville   (Decembre, 
1698-3  Mai,  1699).     Margry,  Vol.  IV. 


258        A   HISTORY   OF    LOUISIANA 

8  Journal  Historique  de  l'Etablissement  des  Francais  a  la  Loui- 

7  In  Margry,  Vol.  V,  page  312,  this  fort  is  called  "  Maurepas." 
It  was  generally  known  by  the  name  of  "  Biloxi,"  and  later  "  Old 

8  13th,  according  to  Iberville's  journal;  14th,  according  to  Cha- 
teaumorant's  report;  and  11th,  according  to  Journal  Historique. 

9  Journal  in  Margry,  Vol.  IV. 

10  Margry,  Vol.  V,  page  S95. 
"Margry,  Vol.  IV,  page  190. 

12  Le  Page  du  Pratz,  in  his  History  of  Louisiana,  Vol.  I,  page  276, 
gives  another  version.  He  says  that  when  the  English  ship  reached 
the  bend  in  the  river  they  had  no  wind  to  turn  around  it,  and  having 
tried  to  land,  they  were  attacked  by  the  Ouachas  and  Chaouchas  Indi- 
ans, who  had  been  watching  them.  They  turned  back,  whence  the 
name  "  Engbsh  Turn." 

13  Journal  Historique,  page  19- 

14  The  first  settlement  in  the  present  State  of  Louisiana ;  the  fort 
is  called  "  Maurepas  "  by  some  historians.  It  was  abandoned  in 

15  He  was  not  a  brother  of  Iberville  and  Bienville,  as  has  been  often 

16  According  to  the  Journal  Historique.  Iberville,  in  his  journal, 
says  January  10  and  16  leagues. 


1  Magne's  Notes  et  Documents  Historiques,  Louisiana  Historical 
Society,  page  103. 

2  Jean  Le  Camp's  child  was  "  the  first  Creole  "  of  the  colony.  With 
regard  to  this  fact,  Mr.  Peter  J.  Hamilton,  author  of  Colonial  Mo- 
bile, says  in  his  Beginning  of  French  Settlement  of  the  Missis- 
sippi Valley,  note  to  page  5  (Gulf  States  Historical  Magazine, 
1902):  "  His  name  was  Jean  Francois,  and  he  was  baptized  by  the 
cure  Huve,  on  the  day  of  his  birth,  October  4,  1704.  His  father 
was  probably  named  Jean  Le  Camp.  The  family  name  Le  Camp 
can  hardly  be  made  out  in  the  first  church  entry,  but  Prof.  Alcee  For- 

NOTES  259 

tier  lately  found  at  Paris,  in  a  census  report  of  two  years  later, 
the  name  spelled  Le  Camp.  The  church  entries  show  a  Jean  Le 
Camp  in  1709-  The  statement  of  Pickett  that  the  first  Creole  was 
the  son  of  Jousset  is  incorrect.  There  is  a  curious  entry  in  the 
records  of  1745,  at  the  death  of  Robert  Tallon,  cabinet-maker,  that 
he  was  '  the  first  Creole  of  the  colony.'  This  would  indicate,  per- 
haps, that  Jean  Francois  Le  Camp  had  died  before  that,  or  that 
Robert  Tallon  had  been  born  before  him,  which  may  well  be,  as  the 
colon}7  had  existed  even  at  Fort  Louis  two  years  before  the  church 
records  begin."  Bienville  and  La  Salle  say  in  their  census,  "  Jean  Le 
Camp  has  the  first  male  child  born  in  Louisiana."     This  is  conclusive. 

3  Notes  et  Documents,  Louisiana  Historical  Society,  page  11. 

4  Francois  Xavier  Martin,  History  of  Louisiana. 

5  Crozat  graciously  named  one  of  his  ships  La  Louisiane,  which 
carried  provisions  and  goods  to  the  colony. 

6  The  letters  patent  were  given  at  Fontainebleau  and  are  dated 
September  14,  1712.  See  French  MSS.,  Mississippi  Valley,  in  the 
custody  of  the  Louisiana  Historical  Society. 

7  In  Margry,  Vol.  V,  page  350,  we  see  a  memorial,  dated  February 
27,  1700,  and  addressed  to  Jerome  Pontchartrain  by  Juchereau  de 
Saint-Denys,  asking  to  be  allowed  to  form  a  settlement  at  Mississippi. 
On  June  -1,  1701,  permission  was  granted  the  Sieur  Juchereau,  "  lieu- 
tenant-general of  the  jurisdiction  of  Montreal,"  to  establish  a  tannery 
at  the  Mississippi.  Juchereau  made  his  settlement  at  the  "Ouabache" 
(the  Ohio),  and  on  September  6,  1704,  Bienville  reported  that  he  died 
"  last  autumn."  The  Saint-Denys,  or  "  St.  Denis,"  mentioned  so 
often  by  Penicaut  and  other  chroniclers  is  identified  by  Dr.  Shea 
(see  Winsor's  Narrative  and  Critical  History,  page  25)  as  Louis 
Juchereau  de  Saint-Denys,  who,  according  to  Charlevoix  and  Peni- 
caut, was  the  uncle  of  Iberville's  wife.  It  was  Saint-Denys,  says 
Penicaut,  who  commanded  the  fort  on  the  Mississippi  and  received 
orders  to  abandon  it  in  1705. 

8  Monette,  History  of  the  Valley  of  the  Mississippi. 

8  In  1721  Fort  Louis  of  Mobile  was  named  Fort  Conde,  and  the 
fort  at  New  Biloxi  was  named  Fort  Louis. 

10  Henri  Martin,  Histoire  de  France. 

11  The  letters  patent  were  issued  at  Paris  in  August,  1717.  See 
French  MSS.,  Louisiana  Historical  Society. 

260         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA 

12  Margry,  Vol.  V,  page  290. 

13  Journal  Historique. 

14  The  intention  of  the  Western  Company  had  been  at  first  to 
establish  the  town  to  be  called  "  Nouvelle  Orleans  "  at  Manchac,  as 
it  would  be  convenient  to  communicate  by  Iberville  River  with  Mobile. 
If  we  were  to  believe  Penicaut's  statement  (Margry,  Vol.  V,  page 
549),  New  Orleans  was  founded  in  1717  and  not  in  1718.  He  says 
that  Bienville  told  Governor  De  l'Epinay  that  he  had  noticed  a 
very  suitable  place  to  form  a  settlement  on  the  bank  of  the  Missis- 
sippi, and  that  De  l'Epinay  sent  Bienville  in  the  beginning  of  the 
winter  to  build  that  new  establishment.  The  Journal  Historique, 
however,  is  much  more  reliable  than  Penicaut's  Relation,  and  its 
statement  about  the  foundation  of  New  Orleans  may  be  accepted  as 


15  It  was  in  reality  the  Superior  Council  remodeled.  It  had  been 
created  on  December  18,  1712,  for  a  period  of  three  years,  on  the 
plan  of  the  Council  of  the  other  French  colonies,  and  on  September 
17,  1716,  it  was  made  "perpetual  and  irrevocable."  See  French 
MSS.,  Louisiana  Historical  Society. 

16  On  January  8,  1721,  the  Baleine  arrived  with  eighty-eight  girls 
from  the  hospital  of  La  Salpetriere  in  Paris.  They  were  under  the 
direction  of  Sister  Gertrude,  and  had  all  been  brought  up  from  child- 
hood in  the  hospital.      (Penicaut,  in  Margry,  Vol.  V,  page  581.) 

11  Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  I,  page  195. 

18  In  a  letter  dated  Fort  Louis  (Biloxi),  March  9,  1722,  Engineer 
Pauger  says  his  superior  officer,  Leblond  de  la  Tour,  ordered  him 
to  go  to  New  Orleans  to  trace  the  plan  of  a  regular  town.  On 
March  29,  1721,  he  found  at  New  Orleans  only  a  few  huts  (6a- 
raques)  among  briers  and  trees,  and  he  traced  all  streets  fronting 
on  the  river.  In  Dumont's  Memoires  Historiques  de  la  Louisiane 
there  is  a  plan  of  New  Orleans  made  by  Leblond  de  la  Tour  and 
Pauger.  It  was  the  latter  who  established  the  post  at  the  Balize  in 
March,  1723.     (Margry,  Vol.  V,  page  657.) 

19  Margry,  Vol.  V,  page  553. 

20  Charlevoix,  Journal  d'un  Voyage  dans  l'Amerique  Septentrionale, 

Vol.  VI. 

21  One  of  the  few  Indian  tribes  still  existing  in  Louisiana,  at 
Charenton,  on  Bayou  Teche.     They  make  beautiful  baskets. 

NOTES  261 

"  Le  Page  gives  the  narrative  of  Moncacht-ape,  of  the  tribe  of  the 
Yazoos,  of  his  journey  to  the  east  as  far  as  the  ocean,  and  to  the  west 
up  the  Missouri  River  as  far  as  the  mountains.  The  narrative  of 
Moncacht-ape  is  very  interesting  and  is  accepted  as  authentic. 


1  The  original  of  the  edict,  written  on  excellent  parchment  and 
signed  by  the  King,  by  the  minister  Phelypeaux  (Maurepas),  by 
Fleuriau,  Dodun,  and  Rossard,  is  to  be  found  in  the  volume  of  French 
MSS.,  Mississippi  Valley,  in  the  custody  of  the  Louisiana  Historical 

1  The  same  regulations  applied  to  the  French  islands. 


1  Dumont,  Memoires  Historiques  sur  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  II.  VV    I" 

5  "  The  toise  is  a  measure  of  six  feet,  but  it  must  be  remembered 
this  French  foot  is  12.78933  English  inches,  and  thus  longer  than  our 
own."     (Hamilton's  Colonial  Mobile,  page  70.) 

s  Dumont,  Memoires  Historiques. 

4  Mother  Tranchepain  died  on  November  11,  1733,  before  the 
nuns  entered  their  convent.  Sister  Madeleine  Hachard  died  on 
August  9,  1760. 

6  Gravier,  Relation  du  Voyage  des  Ursulines. 

6  The  treaty  between  the  Jesuits  and  the  Company  of  the  Indies 
was  signed  on  February  20,  1726,  and  approved  by  the  King  on 
August  17,  1726.  (See  French  MSS.,  Mississippi  Valley,  Louisiana 
Historical  Society.) 

7  Extraits  des  Manuscrits  d'un  Anglais  habitant  la  Louisiane  de 
1719  a  1753.  Rev.  C.  M.  Widman,  S.  J.,  and  Dr.  G.  Devron,  in 
Comptes  Rendus  de  l'Athenee  Louisianais,  1899- 

8  The  name  is  written  also  Louboey. 

0  J.  F.  H.  Claiborne,  Mississippi  as  a  Province,  Territory,  and 


262         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA 

CHAPTER  VII  (      »Vl*  —    I  *c 


1  Le  Page  du  Pratz,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  III. 

2  Notes  et  Documents,  Louisiana  Historical  Society,  page  2. 

3  The  retrocession  of  the  Province  of  Louisiana  and  of  the  coun- 
try of  the  Illinois,  made  by  the  Company  of  the  Indies,  was  ac- 
cepted by  the  King  on  January  23,  1731.  (Margry,  Vol.  V, 
page  590.) 

4  D'Artaguette,  says  Gayarre,  was  to  obtain  reinforcements  from 
the  Cahokias  and  the  Mitchigamias  under  Montcherval.  Margry, 
in  his  Documents  sur  la  Louisiane,  says  the  name  of  the  com- 
mander was  Mont-Chervaux  and  not  Montcherval. 

6  Young  D'Artaguette  was  a  brother  of  the  commissary  who  be- 
came commandant,  or  lieutenant  de  rot,  at  Mobile.  They  were  sons 
of  the  old  commissaire  ordonnateur.  (Hamilton's  Colonial  Mobile, 
page  108.) 

6  Notes  et  Documents,  Louisiana  Historical  Society,  page  260,  and 
Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  II,  page  322. 

7  Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  I. 

8  The  Governor  of  Canada  had  first  sent  the  Baron  de  Longueil, 
Major  of  Montreal,  a  nephew  of  Bienville,  as  commander  of  the 
contingent  sent  by  him;  but  Longueil  had  an  attack  of  sciatica,  and 
Celoron  took  his  place.  (Margry 's  Documents  sur  la  Louisiane,  Loui- 
siana Historical  Society.) 

9  Margry's  Documents,  Louisiana  Historical  Society. 

10  Margry's  Documents  sur  la  Louisiane,  Louisiana  Historical 

11  Martin,  History  of  Louisiana. 

12  L.  Dussieux,  Le  Canada  sous  la  Domination  Franeaise,  page 
123.  F.  X.  Garneau,  Histoire  du  Canada,  page  202.  Bossu,  Nou- 
veaux  Voyages,  Vol.  I,  page  212,  says  that  we  must  distinguish  M. 
de  Villiers,  known  as  the  Great  Villiers,  who  went  to  avenge  Ju- 
monville's  death,  from  the  Chevalier  de  Villiers  who  was  stationed 
at  Fort  Chartres. 

13  Bossu,  Nouveaux  Voyages  aux  Indes  Occidentales. 

14  We  give  Kerlerec's  name  with  the  acute  accent  as  he  signed  it 

15  The  name  is  also  spelled  Beaudrot. 

NOTES  263 


1  Etienne- Francois,  Duke  de  Choiseul,  born  1719,  died  1785.  He 
waa  first  known  by  the  name  of  Count  de  Stainville.  He  should  be 
distinguished  from  his  cousin,  Cesar-Gabriel  de  Choiseul  (1712- 
1785),  Duke  de  Praslin,  known  as  Count  de  Choiseul  until  1762. 
The  latter  became  minister  of  foreign  affairs  in  1761,  and  it  was 
he  who  signed  the  treaty  of  Paris  in  1763.  He  is  generally  known  as 
Choiseul-Praslin,  while  the  able  minister  of  Louis  XV  is  known  as 

2  George  Bancroft,  History  of  the  United  States,  Vol.  IV. 


S  9bFe  1762. 

LE  ROI  TRES  CHRETIEN  etant  dans  la  ferme  resolution  de  res- 
serrer  de  plus  en  plus,  et  de  perpetuer  les  liens  de  la  tendre  amitie  qui 
l'unissent  au  Roi  Catholique  son  Cousin,  se  propose  d'agir  en  conse- 
quence en  tout  tems  et  a  tous  egards  avec  Sa  Majeste  Catholique  dans 
une  parfaite  uniformite  de  prineipes  relativement  a.  la  Gloire  com- 
mune de  leur  Maison,  et  a  l'interet  reciproque  de  leurs  Monarchies. 

Dans  cette  vue  Sa  Majeste  tres  Chretienne  veritablement  sensible 
aux  sacrifices  que  le  Roi  Catholique  a  bien  voulu  faire  genereusement 
pour  concourir  avec  Elle  au  retabUssement  de  la  paix,  a  desire  de 
lui  donner  a  cette  occasion  une  preuve  du  vif  interet  qu'elle  prend 
a  sa  satisfaction  et  aux  avantages  de  sa  Couronne. 

Pour  cet  effet  le  Roi  tres  Chretien  a  autorise  le  Due  de  Choiseul 
son  Ministre  a  delivrer  dans  la  forme  la  plus  autentique  au  Marquis 
de  Grimaldi  ambassadeur  extraordinaire  du  Roi  Catholique,  un  acte 
par  lequel  Sa  Majeste  Tres  Chretienne  cede  en  toute  propriete,  pure- 
ment  et  simplement,  et  sans  aucune  exception,  a  Sa  Majeste  Catho- 
lique et  a  Ses  Successeurs  a  perpetuite,  tout  le  Pays  eonnu  sous  le 
nom  de  la  Louisiane,  ainsi  que  la  Nouvelle  Orleans  et  l'lsle  dans  la- 
quelle  cette  ville  est  situee. 

Mais  le  Marquis  de  Grimaldi  n'etant  pas  assez  exactement  in- 
formed des  intentions  de  Sa  Majeste  Catholique,  a  cru  ne  devoir  ac- 
cepter la  dite  cession,  que  conditionellement  et  sub  spe  rati,  en  at- 
tendant les  ordres  qu'il  recevra  du  Roi  son  maitre,  lesquels,  s'ils  sont 
conformes  aux  desirs  de  Sa  Majeste  Tres  Chretienne,  comme  elle 
l'espere,  seront  immediatement  suivis  de  l'acte  formel  et  autentique 

264         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA 

de  la  cession  dont  il  s'agit,  dans  lequel  seront  stipulees  les  mesures 
a  prendre  et  l'epoque  a  fixer  d'un  commim  accord,  tant  pour  l'evacu- 
ation  de  la  Louisiane  et  de  la  Nouvelle  Orleans  par  les  sujets  de 
Sa  Majeste  Tres  Chretienne,  que  pour  la  prise  de  possession  des  dits 
pays  et  ville  par  les  sujets  de  Sa  Majeste  Catholique. 

En  temoignage  de  quoi  nous  Ministres  respectifs  avons  signe  le 
present  acte  preliminaire  et  y  avons  fait  apposer  le  cachet  de  nos 

Fait  a  Fontainebleau  le  trois  Novembre  mille  sept  cent  soixante 

(L.  S.)  Le  Due  De  Choiseul  (L.  S.)  el  marqs  de  Grimaldi. 


Don  Carlos,  por  la  gracia  de  Dios,  Rey  de  Castilla,  de  Leon,  de  Ara- 
gon,  de  las  dos  Sicilias,  de  Jerusalem,  de  Navarra,  de  Granada,  de 
Toledo,  de  Valencia,  de  Galicia,  de  Mallorca,  de  Sevilla,  de  Cerdena, 
de  Cordova,  de  Corcega,  de  Murcia,  de  Jaen,  de  los  Algarves,  de 
Algecira,  de  Gibraltar,  de  las  islas  de  Canaria,  de  las  Indias  Orien- 
tales,  y  Occidentales,  Islas,  y  tierrafirme  del  Mar  Oceano;  Archi- 
duque  de  Austria;  Duque  de  Borgona,  de  Brabante,  y  de  Milan; 
Conde  de  Absburg,  de  Flandes,  del  Firol,  y  de  Barcelona;  Sefior  de 
Vizcaya  y  de  Molina,  &c,  Sor  quanto  aviendo  llegado  el  caso  de  fir- 
marse  el  dia  tres  del  presente  mes  los  Preliminares  de  una  Paz 
entre  la  Corona  de  Espana  y  la  de  Francia  de  une  parte,  la  de 
Inglaterra  y  Portugal  de  otra,  ha  tenido  a  bien  el  Rey  Christianisimo 
mi  mui  caro  y  mui  amado  Primo,  por  puro  efecto  de  la  nobleza  de 
su  Corazon  y  del  amor  y  amistad  en  que  vivimos,  disponer  que  el 
Marques  de  Grimaldi  mi  Embassador  Extraordinario  cerca  de  su 
R1.  persona,  y  el  Duque  de  Choiseul  su  Ministro  de  Estado,  firmasen 
en  el  mismo  dia  un  acto  por  el  qual  cede  desde  luego  la  Corona  de 
Francia  a.  la  de  Espana  el  Pais  conocido  bajo  el  nombre  de  la 
Luisiana,  la  nueva  Orleans,  y  la  Isla  en  que  esta  Villa  halla  situada, 
y  en  el  qual  el  citado  mi  Embassador  admite  la  cesion  tan  solo  sub 
spe  rati,  por  no  hallarse  con  ordenes  mias,  que  deviesen  determinar — 
le  a  egecutar  lo  absolutamente  el  tenor  de  cuyo  acto  es  el  siguiente. 
(Here  follows  the  treaty  of  Fontainebleau — French  text.) 

Por  tanto,  mirando  yo  a  que  efectuada  esta  generosa  accion  del 
Rey  Christianisimo  sirva  para  que  se  arraigue  entre  las  dos  Naciones 
Espaiiola  y  Francesa  el  espiritu  de  union  y  amistad  que  las  conviene 

NOTES  265 

a  exemplo  del  que  anima  a  sus  actuales  soveranos,  me  compluzco  de 
acceptar  ademas  los  que  se  juzgasen  necesarios  para  Ucvarla  a  su 
entero  formal  efecto,  y  autorizando  para  que  los  trate,  concluya  y  firme 
al  mencionado  Marques  de  Grimaldi.  En  fe  de  lo  qual  he  mandado 
despaehar  la  presente  firinada  de  mi  mano,  sellada  con  mi  sello  se- 
ereto,  y  refrendada  de  mi  infraserito  Consexcro  de  Estado  y  primer 
Secretario  del  Despacho  de  Estudo  y  Guerra.  En  San  Lorenzo  el 
R!  a  treze  de  Noviembre  de  mil  setecientos  sesenta  y  dos. 
(Seal)  Yo  el  Rey. 

Ricardo  Watt. 

*  Notes  et  Documents,  page  467. 

5  Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  II. 

•  Lettre  du  Roy  a  M.  d'Abbadie,  command',  a  la  Louisiane  pour 
qu'il  fasse  entre  les  mains  du  Commissaire  que  le  Roy  d'Espe.  nom- 
mera  remise  du  dit  pays  ainsi  que  de  la  Nouvelle  Orleans  et  de 
l'isle  dans  laquelle  cette  Ville  est  situee,  conformement  a  l'acte  de 
cession  passe  a  fontainebleau  le  3  1762,  et  accepte  par  un 
autre  acte  signe  par  sa  M.  C.  le  17  du  meme  mois  dont  les  copies 
sont  cy  jointes. 

Mons.  Dabbadie  par  un  acte  particulier  passe  a  fontainebleau  le 
3.  9br-e  1762,  ayant  cede  de  ma  pleine  Volonte  a  Mon  tres  Cher  et 
tres  Ame  Cousin  le  Roy  d'Espagne  et  a  Ses  Successeurs  et  Heritiers, 
en  toute  propriete  purement  et  simplement  et  sans  aucune  Excep- 
tion tout  le  Pays  connu  sous  le  Nom  de  la  Louisiane,  ainsi  que  la 
Nouvelle  Orleans  et  L'isle  dans  laquelle  cette  ville  est  situee  et  par 
un  autre  acte  passe  a  l'Escurial,  Signe  du  Roy  d'Espagne,  le  13.  9hT-e 
de  la  meme  annee,  sa  Majeste  Catholique  ayant  accepte  la  Cession 
dudit  Pays  de  la  Louisiane  et  de  la  Ville  et  Isle  de  la  Nouvelle 
Orleans,  conformement  a  la  Copie  des  dits  actes  que  vous  trouverez 
cyjoints,  je  Vous  fais  cette  Lettre  pour  vous  dire  que  Mon  Intention 
est  qu'a  la  reception  de  la  presente  et  des  Copies  cyjointes,  soit 
qu'elle  vous  parvienne  par  les  Officiers  de  Sa  Majeste  Catholique, 
ou  en  droiture,  par  les  batiments  francois  qui  en  seront  Charges, 
Vous  ayiez  a  remettre  entre  les  Mains  du  Gouverneur,  ou  Officier  a 
ce  prepose  par  le  Roy  d'Espagne,  ledit  Pays  et  Colonie  de  la 
Louisiane  et  postes  en  deppendants,  ensemble  les  Ville  et  Isle  de  la 
Nouvelle  Orleans,  Telles  qu'elles  se  trouveront  an  jour  de  ladite  Ces- 
sion, voulant  qu'a  l'avenir  elles  appartiennent  a  Sa  Majesty  Catholique, 

266         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA 

pour  Etre  Gouvernees  et  adniinistrees  par  Ses  Gouverneur  et  Officiers 
Comme  luy  appartenant  En  toute  propriete  et  Sans  aucune  Excep- 
tion, je  Vous  ordonne  En  consequence,  qu'aussitot  que  le  Gouverneur 
et  les  Troupes  de  Sa  Majeste  Catholique  Seront  arrives  dans  lesdits 
pays  et  Colonies,  vous  ayez  a  les  mettre  en  possession  et  en  retirer 
tous  les  officiers,  Soldats  et  Employes,  appartenants  a  mon  service  qui 
y  Seroient  encore  en  garnison,  pour  envoyer  en  france,  ou  dans  mes 
autres  Colonies  d'Amerique  ceux  qui  ne  jugeroient  pas  a  propos  de 
rester  sous  la  domination  Espagnole.  je  desire  de  plus  qu'apres 
l'Entiere  Evacuation  desdits  Postes  et  Ville  de  la  Nouvelle  Orleans, 
vous  ayez  a  rassembler  tous  les  papiers  et  documents  relatifs  aux 
finances  et  a  l'administration  de  la  Colonie  de  la  Louisiane,  pour 
Venir  en  France  en  regler  les  Comptes,  mon  Intention  est  neantmoins 
que  Vous  remetties  audit  Gouverneur,  ou  officier  a  ce  prepose,  tous 
les  papiers  et  documents  qui  Concerneront  Specialement  le  Gou- 
vernement  de  cette  Colonie,  soit  par  rapport  au  Territoire  et  a  ses 
Limites,  soit  par  rapport  aux  Sauvages  et  aux  differents  Postes, 
apres  en  avoir  tire  les  receus  convenables  pour  votre  decharge  et 
que  vous  donnies  audit  Gouverneur  tous  les  renseignements  qui 
dependront  de  vous,  pour  le  Mettre  en  Etat  de  Gouverneur  ladite 
Colonie  a  la  Satisfaction  de  Sa  Majeste  Catholique.  et  afin  que  lad. 
Cession  Soit  faite  a  la  Satisfaction  reciproque  des  deux  Nations  ma 
Volonte  est  qu'il  soit  dresse  un  Inventaire  signe  double  entre  Vous 
et  le  Commissaire  de  Sa  Majeste  Catholique,  de  toute  l'Artillerie, 
Armes,  Munitions,  Effets,  Magazins,  Hopitaux  Batiments  de  Mer 
&c  Qui  m'appartiennent  dans  lad.  Colonie,  afin  qu'apres  avoir  mis 
led.  Commissaire  Espagnol  en  possession  des  Batiments  et  Edifices 
Civils,  il  soit  dresse  ensuite  un  proces  verbal  d'Estimation  de  tous 
lesdits  Effets  qui  resteront  sur  les  Lieux  et  dont  le  prix  sera  rem- 
bourse  par  Sa  Majeste  Catholique  sur  le  pied  de  lad.  Estimation, 
j'espere  en  meme  terns  pour  l'avantage  et  la  tranquility  des  habitants 
de  la  Colonie  de  la  Louisiane  et  je  me  promets  en  Consequence  de 
1'amitie  et  affection  de  Sa  Majeste  Catholique  quelle  voudra  bien 
donner  des  ordres  a  son  Gouverneur  et  a  tous  autres  officiers  Em- 
ployes a  Son  Service  dans  lad.  Colonie  et  Ville  de  la  Nouvelle 
Orleans  pour  que  les  Ecclesiastiques  et  Maisons  religieuses  qui  deser- 
vent  les  Cures  et  les  Missions  y  continuent  leurs  fonctions  et  y  jou- 

NOTES  267 

isscnt  des  droits,  privileges  et  Exemptions  qui  leur  ont  ete  attri- 
butes par  les  titres  de  leurs  Etablissements:  que  les  Juges  ordinaires 
continuent,  ainsi  que  le  Conseil  Superieur,  a  rendrc  la  justice,  sui- 
vant  les  Loix,  formes  et  usages  de  la  Colonic:  Que  les  habitants  y 
soient  gardes  et  maintenus  dans  leurs  possessions:  qu'ils  soient  Con- 
firmed dans  les  proprietes  de  leurs  biens,  suivant  les  Concessions  (jui 
en  ont  ete  faites  par  les  Gouverneurs  et  ordonnateurs  de  la  Colonic 
et  que  les  d'f  Concessions  soient  Censees  et  reputees  Confirmees 
par  Sa  Majeste  Catholique  quoiqu'elles  ne  l'eussent  pas  encore  Ete 
par  Moy,  Esperant  au  Surplus  que  Sa  Majeste  voudra  bien  donner 
a  Ses  Nouveaux  Sujets  de  la  Louisiane  les  memes  Marques  de  pro- 
tection et  de  bienveillance  qu'ils  ont  Eprouve  sous  ma  Domination 
et  dont  les  Seuls  malheurs  de  la  Guerre  les  ont  Empeche  de  ressentir 
de  plus  grands  effets,  je  vous  ordonne  de  faire  enregistrer  ma  pre- 
sente  Lettre  au  Conseil  Superieur  de  la  Nouvelle  Orleans  afin  que 
les  differents  etats  de  la  Colonie  Soient  Informes  de  Son  Contenu  et 
qu'ils  puissent  y  avoir  recours  au  besoin.  Et  la  presente  N'Etant 
a  autres  fins,  je  prie  Dieu,  Mons  Dabbadie  qu'il  vous  ait  en  Sa  Sainte 
Garde.     Ecrit  a  Versailles  le  21  Avril  1764.  Louis. 

Le  Due  De  Choiseul. 

7  St.  Louis  was  really  founded  in  1764  by  Laclede  and  Chouteau. 
See  Vol.  II,  Chap.  xii. 

8  Notes  et  Documents,  page  823. 

9  Margry's  Documents  sur  la  Louisiane. 

10  Fortier's  Louisiana  Studies,  page  156. 

11  Notes  et  Documents,  page  468. 

12  Colonial  Archives,  Paris.     Copied  by  the  writer. 

13  Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  II,  page  165. 

14  Colonial  Archives,  Paris.     Copied  by  the  writer. 

15  Notes  et  Documents,  page  701. 

16  Notes  et  Documents,  page  709. 

17  Notes  et  Documents,  page  643. 

18  Notes  et  Documents,  page  611. 

10  Notes  et  Documents,  pages  617  to  643  and  668  to  671. 

20  Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  II,  page  230. 

21  Larousse,  Grand  Dictionnaire  Universel. 

22  Nine  hundred  men,  according  to  Aubry. 

268         A  HISTORY   OF   LOUISIANA 


1  Notes  et  Documents,  Louisiana  Historical  Society,  page  674. 

2  For  original  text  of  both  treaties,  see  notes  to  Chapter  VIII. 

3  Notes  et  Documents,  page  938. 



1  Aubry 's  statement  in  his  letter  of  August  24,  1769.  Martin,  in 
his  History  of  Louisiana,  gives  twenty-eight  transports  and  forty- 
five  hundred  men. 

2  Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  II. 
8  Notes  et  Documents,  page  715. 

4  Martin  says  that  only  four  of  the  insurgents  were  arrested  at 
O'Reilly's  house;  but  Aubry,  in  his  letter  of  September  1,  1769,  says 
that  all  the  insurgents  were  arrested  by  the  general  in  his  own  house. 

5  French,  Historical  Memoirs  of  Louisiana,  Series  VI. 

6  Notes  et  Documents,  page  730. 

7  Notes  et  Documents,  page  724.  Aubry 's  letter  of  September  1, 

8  Notes  et  Documents,  page  751. 

9  Notes  et  Documents,  page  802. 

10  The  following  extract  from  the  archives  of  the  Ursuline  Con- 
vent was  furnished  Mr.  Henry  Renshaw  and  published  by  him  in 
Publications  Louisiana  Historical  Society,  1901 : 

"  The  sieurs  Nicolas  Chauvin  de  Lafreniere,  Jean  Baptiste  Noyan, 
Pierre  Carresse,  Pierre  Marquis  and  Joseph  Milhet,  condemned  to 
death  by  O'Reilly,  as  chiefs  of  the  revolt  against  Spain,  at  the  time 
of  the  cession  of  Louisiana,  were  shot,  on  October  25,  1769,  in  the 
yard  of  the  barracks,  lot  adjoining  that  of  the  Convent  of  the  Ursu- 
lines.  It  was  a  terrible  moment  of  anguish  for  the  nuns.  The 
report  of  fire-arms  caused  the  windows  of  the  Chapel  to  shake, 
where  had  taken  refuge  the  relatives  of  the  victims,  with  whom  the 
nuns  prayed." 

11  Notes  et  Documents,  page  805. 

12  Gayarre,  Histoire  de  la  Louisiane,  Vol.  II. 

13  Notes  et  Documents,  page  459.  Letter  of  Villars,  French  com- 
missioner, August  20,  1778. 
















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